MADRID, September 29 (EUROPA PRESS) - Cellnex has reached an agreement with the American investment firm Stonepeak for the sale of a 49% stake in its Swedish and Danish subsidiaries for an amount of 730 million euros, as announced by the company. Friday the company to the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV).
The group, which will use the proceeds obtained through this sale to reduce debt, anticipates that the closing of the operation will take place in the first quarter of 2024 "at the latest", subject to the usual regulatory approvals.
Cellnex will receive an initial payment of 558 million euros for the operation, 130 million euros three years after the closing of the transaction and 40 million euros of 'earn-out', payable when the Swedish purchase option negotiated with Hutchison is executed. to acquire up to 1,400 sites, scheduled for 2026.
Likewise, Cellnex will receive an industrial or management commission for activities in the region equivalent to 3% of business income.
The Spanish company will appoint the management team of the company resulting from the operation in consultation with Stonepeak. It is expected that dividends will be distributed proportionally to the shares of its shareholders based on available cash and the results of the business plan, with preferential treatment towards Stonepeak in the case of negative deviation from the initially agreed business plan.
The expected dividend in 2024 corresponding to Stonepeak's participation will be approximately 23 million euros, with an annual growth of more than 5% from that year onwards.
REDUCE DEBT TO ACHIEVE S INVESTMENT GRADE
Cellnex will allocate the income obtained through this operation to reduce debt, in line with the objectives set in November 2022 focused on organic growth and the achievement of investment grade by S
"This agreement, along with other strategic options for our asset portfolio that can be analyzed, will help Cellnex crystallize value and accelerate the deleveraging plan," the company stressed.
In this sense, Cellnex has reiterated in its communication to the CNMV its "unconditional" commitment to achieving investment grade with the S rating agency.
The company has explained that it will continue to manage the daily operations of its subsidiaries in Sweden and Denmark and will consolidate the business on its balance sheet and income statement.
Cellnex provides mobile operators in the Nordic countries with placement services for their wireless communication equipment through a network of 4,557 sites spread across Sweden and Denmark. The company has commitments and options to build and operate approximately 2,500 additional sites in the region.
Marco Patuano, CEO of Cellnex, stated that the sale of a minority stake in the Nordic business "represents another important step towards the objective of achieving investment grade."
"The agreement with Stonepeak demonstrates Cellnex's ability to attract the interest of leading financial partners who understand and value the inherent quality of the assets, as well as the opportunities anticipated in these markets," he noted.
For his part, the general director of the infrastructure and real estate investment firm Stonepeak, Cyrus Gentry, has highlighted that Cellnex, "as the main independent tower company in the Nordic countries, is strategically well positioned to achieve great organic and inorganic in the coming years.
"Partnering with Cellnex, which has a strong track record of financial results, turnkey project delivery and mergers and acquisitions, is a natural fit into Stonepeak's key infrastructure strategy," he added.
The transaction includes a five-year lock-up period and a right of first offer from Cellnex/Stonepeak after the lock-up period.
After the eighth year, certain rights are proposed, including a purchase option and drag right, which will allow the two shareholders to maintain the 'status quo'. In addition, Cellnex will have the right to recover full ownership of the assets and Stonepeak may rotate its minority interest to a third party, or any of the shareholders may initiate the complete sale of the company to a third party.
For this operation, Stonepeak has Nomura Securities and Guggenheim Partners as financial advisors, and Herbert Smith Freehills LLP as legal advisor, while Cellnex has AZ Capital as financial advisor and Baker