Investor Stonepeak buys 49% stake in Cellnex’s Nordic towers for $773M

The investment firm Stonepeak is buying a 49% stake in Cellnex Telecom’s subsidiaries Cellnex Sweden and Cellnex Denmark for $773 million (€730 million).

Cellnex will keep a 51% stake in the Nordics business, and it will continue to manage the day-to-day business of Cellnex Nordics.

Cellnex Nordics provides mobile network operators with colocation for their wireless equipment through a network totaling 4,557 sites across Sweden and Denmark. In addition, the Cellnex Nordics business holds commitments and options to build and operate approximately 2,500 additional sites in the region.

Cellnex will use the proceeds of this deal to reduce its debt, in line with the objectives it set in November 2022, which prioritize organic growth and achieving an investment grade credit rating by S&P.

Marco Patuano, Cellnex CEO, stated today: “The sale of a stake in our Nordic business at an appropriate valuation marks another significant step forward in our goal to attain investment grade ratings. The agreement with Stonepeak shows Cellnex’s ability to attract the interest of high-quality financial partners.”

Cyrus Gentry, Stonepeak managing director, said: “We believe Cellnex Nordics, as the region’s leading independent tower company, is strategically well positioned to capture outsized organic and inorganic growth over the coming years.”

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2024.

Of Cellnex’s deal with Stonepeak, New Street Research analyst James Ratzer wrote today that it’s good to see private money still interested in EU tower assets given the higher interest rate environment. “This might bode well for other ongoing tower sales like VodafoneZiggo, Vantage and Cornerstone,” he said.

The deal announced today follows another divestment on September 6 when Cellnex Telecom announced the sale of 2,353 sites in France to Phoenix Tower International (PTI) and to a joint venture of PTI and Bouygues Telecom under the agreements reached with such companies in early 2022 to transfer a total of 3,226 sites, to be concluded over a period of thirty months. 

Cellnex has received $668 million (€631 million) from the sale of these assets, which includes 150 sites executed in the first half of the year, 225 sites executed on August 1, and 1,978 sites at the end of August. Cellnex is also using these proceeds to reduce its debt.