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Cellnex closes EUR 1.6 bln acquisition of Polkomtel infrastructure

Cellnex announced today that it has closed the transaction with Cyfrowy Polsat Group regarding the acquisition of 99.99% of its telecommunications infrastructure, Polkomtel Infrastruktura.

It operates the group’s passive infrastructure (c.7,000 telecommunication towers and sites) and active infrastructures (c.37,000 radio carriers covering all the bands used by 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G; c. 11,300 km of fibre backbone and fibre-to-the-tower backhaul, and a national network of microwave radiolinks).

The agreement involves an investment of c. €1.6 billion by Cellnex, plus an additional programme to roll out up to c. 1,500 sites, as well as investments in active equipment, mostly for 5G, for a further c. €600 million over the next 9 years. The transaction has been financed with available cash.

Cellnex’s CEO Tobias Martinez highlighted “that we celebrate both a long-term strategic partnership with one of the most significant players in the Polish telecommunications market, as well as the relevance and strategic value of an agreement which involves two main derivatives. First, it allows Cellnex to rapidly consolidate and reinforce its position in Poland following the recent acquisition of towers and sites from Play. Secondly, it exemplifies our commitment to evolving the traditional tower operator model towards an integrated telecommunications infrastructure management model, combining the operation of passive elements (towers) and active elements such as transmission equipment, radio links and fibre-to-the-tower.”

“This is nothing new for Cellnex,” reminds Àlex Mestre, the Deputy CEO of Cellnex, “in several markets –e.g. France–, we have already signed agreements to roll out and operate the fibre backbone and backhaul; to manage ‘data centres’ (voice and data traffic concentrators) that will be part of the 5G ‘edge computing’ ecosystem; or to operate distributed antenna systems (DAS) in sports and commercial venues, hospitals, transport networks, etc. Our expansion into active infrastructure is undoubtedly a qualitative leap and heralds a new reality for the company that broadens the development and growth options for Cellnex in Europe within telecommunications infrastructures.”

“Our intention to partner with Cellnex in the further development of our mobile network is intended to allow for even faster and more cost-efficient deployment of modern connectivity services for our customers,” says Mirosław Błaszczyk, CEO of Cyfrowy Polsat and Polkomtel. “In order to work, learn or entertain themselves, our customers need reliable networks which will require more and more 5G-equipped sites.”

In addition, Maciej Stec, vice-president responsible for strategy of Cyfrowy Polsat and Polkomtel, highlighted that “we believe active and passive network sharing is crucial for the provision of mobile connectivity in the future and mobile players have to follow this direction in order to provide high end-user experience. Our partnership with Cellnex allows for densifying the network of sites used by our customers by applying a cost-efficient approach. As a leading European telecommunication infrastructure provider Cellnex will look to optimize mobile network investments in Poland with benefits for our customers and the environment we live in.”

Additional EBITDA under IFRS16, and once the rollout of the new sites have been completed, will be €330 million, while Recurring Leveraged Free Cash Flow (RLFCF) will rise by €150 million.

Cellnex and Cyfrowy Polsat have agreed a 25-year service contract with subsequent renewals for 15-year periods. CT Bureau


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