Vodafone tower spin-out plans massive European IPO

25 Feb 2021

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Vantage Towers plans to float by the end of March in a move that could value the company at up to €18bn.

Vodafone’s mobile masts spin-out, Vantage Towers, has announced its intention to float on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange by the end of March 2021.

The Germany-headquartered company operates 82,000 towers across 10 countries, with Germany being its largest market. It was launched in 2020 as a spin-out from Vodafone, which is the largest mobile and fixed network operator in Europe.

Vodafone said on Wednesday (24 February) that it would sell a “meaningful minority” stake to create a liquid market for Vantage Towers’ shares.

It added that Vantage Towers is focused on deploying “the full potential of its market-leading tower infrastructure” to serve the increasing demand for connectivity across Europe, driven by data growth, 5G roll-out and regulatory coverage obligations.

People familiar with the matter told Reuters that stock worth about €3bn would be sold, potentially giving the company a valuation of between €15bn and €18bn.

This would make it the largest European IPO in what has already been a busy 2021, with listings from Polish company InPost and Germany’s Auto1.

Vantage Towers chief executive Vivek Badrinath said the IPO is “an important milestone” that sets the foundations for the next stage of growth for the company.

“We will be looking to capture the exciting value-creating opportunities the sector has to offer and to build on our position as a leading tower infrastructure company in Europe,” he said.

Vantage Towers has secured commitments to construct around 7,100 new macro sites in its consolidated footprint over the next five years with Vodafone and Wind Hellas in Greece.

Through its co-controlling joint ventures in UK-based tower company Cornerstone and Italian tower operator INWIT, Vantage Towers has commitments for a further 1,200 sites in the UK over the next four years and 2,400 sites in Italy that INWIT is targeting to build by the end of 2026.

Jenny Darmody is the editor of Silicon Republic