• Arqiva inks deal to offload telecoms masts business for £2bn
  • Funds will be used to reduce Arqiva’s debt and provide “stability”
  • Cellnex to be UK’s largest independent wireless infrastructure operator

telecommunications tower 5G credit shutterstock

Arqiva: Telco division to be sold to Cellnex

Arqiva has sold its telecoms division for £2bn as part of its strategy to focus on broadcast infrastructure and connectivity for TV and radio.

The acquisition by Spanish telecoms infrastructure firm Cellnex Telecom includes 7,400 sites and the rights to market some 900 sites spread across the UK.

Cellnex will now become the largest independent operator of wireless infrastructure in the UK.

Arqiva chief executive Simon Beresford-Wylie said: “This agreement provides both stability and a focus for our future as we concentrate on the provision of broadcast infrastructure, end-to-end networks and connectivity solutions for our TV and radio customers, international content owners, data network providers, and utilities.

“The majority of proceeds from the sale will be used to reduce debt, thereby providing a solid financial base for Arqiva and its shareholders to invest in the future of the UK’s terrestrial TV and radio platforms as well as its data networks and capability.

“The deal will see a number of colleagues transfer to Cellnex, which I am confident will be an excellent owner for the business. I am sure that it will continue to go from strength to strength under their stewardship.”

The deal also involves concessions to use street infrastructure as locations for telecom sites in 14 London boroughs which the Barcelona-headquartered company said would be a key element for the roll-out of 5G.

As well as telecommunications infrastructure, Cellnex’s business includes audiovisual broadcasting networks, security, and emergency service networks and solutions for smart urban infrastructure and services management.

Cellnex chief executive Tobias Martinez added: “[The Arqiva telecoms division’s] strong UK asset-base, revenues and financial profile, combined with its long history at the heart of UK digital infrastructure, make it a perfect addition to our operations. This deal will not only add circa 8,300 telecom sites to our portfolio but an experienced team that will further strengthen Cellnex’s demonstrated ability to meet its customers’ requirements.”

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