Is Cellnex going to reduce its assets in Poland?

Is Cellnex going to reduce its assets in Poland?

A widely reported but so far formally unconfirmed news story suggests that Cellnex, a leading operator of wireless telecommunications infrastructures, is considering a stake sale of its Polish unit.

If true, this would be the latest asset disposal by the mobile phone tower operator as it seeks to reduce its debt.

While Cellnex has remained silent, sources close to the talks are suggesting that it is working with advisers to evaluate the sale of a stake in its Polish business. One estimate puts the value of the sale at above US$3.27 billion excluding debt.

Indeed, as Cellnex seeks to raise financing for a potential agreement with operator Iliad Group in Poland, anonymous sources quoted by Reuters say JP Morgan and BNP Paribas are among the advisers working on the sale.

The Iliad deal seems to be about infrastructure management rather than ownership. Cellnex and Iliad are apparently in talks over a possible arrangement for the Spanish company to expand the telecoms infrastructure that it manages for Iliad in Poland.

Meanwhile a formal process for a stake sale is likely to begin before the summer, again according to Reuters’ sources. However, at this stage, there is no guarantee that such plans will go ahead.

Reuters says that in 2022 rising interest rates forced Cellnex to cut debt by selling non-core assets and simplifying the business. Cellnex controls more than 15,000 operational sites in Poland, where it has been operating since 2021.

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