Cellnex Telecom acquires Cignal in €210m deal

10 Sep 2019

Cignal chair Donal O'Shaughnessy and chief executive Colin Cunningham. Image: Cignal

Cignal’s existing management team and staff will continue to run the business following the deal with Cellnex.

On Tuesday (10 September), Cellnex Telecom announced its plans to acquire Irish telecoms infrastructure company Cignal in a deal worth €210m.

Cignal, which was launched in 2015, currently owns 546 telecoms tower sites across Ireland. The company has significantly expanded its portfolio since it was founded following the acquisition of 300 tower locations from Coillte in 2015.

Cellnex, which is listed on the Spanish stock exchange, is one of Europe’s largest operators of wireless telecommunications and broadcasting infrastructure. It has a portfolio of more than 45,000 towers across Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland and the UK.

Cellnex said that the investment from the acquisition will help to reduce coverage blackspots and improve broadband access in Ireland. Cignal’s current management team and staff will continue to run the business.

Additional investment

In a statement, Cellnex said it is committed to investing a further €60m to build up to 600 new sites in Ireland by 2026.

This will help Cignal to continue its mission of providing the necessary infrastructure supporting the improvement and availability of high-speed wireless broadband in rural areas, and helping mobile operators address coverage blackspots.

Colin Cunningham, chief executive of Cignal, said: “Along with the rest of the Cignal team, I am looking forward to continuing growing the business and implementing our expansion programme to meet our growing customer requirements.

“In Cellnex, I believe we have found the ideal industry partner to continue the rapid growth that has been a characteristic of the company since it was founded four years ago.”

Tobias Martínez, CEO of Cellnex, added: “With Cignal, we are acquiring the leading independent telecommunications infrastructure operator in Ireland, and benefitting from its professional and experienced management team.

“We are also committing to consistent growth in Europe, incorporating a seventh market and working with customers to whom we already offer services in other countries.”

Cignal’s majority shareholder was InfraVia, a private equity firm specialising in the infrastructure sector. Founded by Vincent Levita in 2008, InfraVia has €4bn worth of assets under management through four infrastructure funds, and 30 investments across 11 European countries.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic