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Barcelona-based Abertis to purchase 7,377 mobile phone towers in Italy for almost €700 million

Barcelona-based Abertis, a multinational company specialised in the management of toll roads and telecommunications infrastructure, has reached an agreement to purchase 7,377 mobile phone towers in Italy at a total cost of €693 million. The Catalan group – which saw its net profits rise last year to €655 million – will acquire 90% of the shares of Galata, the subsidiary of the Italian operator Wind that owns the telephone towers. Abertis will thus strengthen its presence in the transalpine country and become the "largest European operator of telecommunications infrastructure for mobile telephony and audiovisual broadcasting", as the company announced through a press release.

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02 March 2015 09:21 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).– Barcelona-based Abertis, a multinational company specialised in the management of toll roads and telecommunications infrastructure, has reached an agreement for the purchase of 7,377 mobile phone towers in Italy at a total cost of €693 million. Through its terrestrial telecommunications subsidiary Abertis Telecom Terrestre, the Catalan group has acquired 90% of the shares of Galata, the subsidiary of the Italian operator Wind Telecomunicazioni S.p.A.’s (WIND) and current holder of the towers. With the purchase of Galata, the Catalan multinational strengthens its presence in Italy and becomes the "largest European operator of telecommunications infrastructure for mobile telephony and audiovisual broadcasting", as the company announced through a press release. Moreover, according to Abertis, the 7,377 mobile phone towers - distributed throughout Italy - are mostly located in urban areas (70%) and are characterised by high quality and profitability given their strategic nature in deploying broadband services based on 4G technology. Abertis's announcemnet coincides with the Mobile World Congress, which is the world's main event of the cell-phone related industries, taking place in Barcelona for the 10th consecutive year.


The company to be acquired is expected to generate €200 million in revenue in the first full year of operation. The transaction – which should take place before the end of April 2015 – includes a services agreement for these towers with WIND for a period of 15 years, renewable for an additional period of a further 15 years, and prices will be revised annually based on inflation in the transalpine country. The acquisition will be financed by means of available credit lines and new debt, without contributions from Abertis. Following this acquisition, Abertis Telecom Terrestre's portfolio will include 15,000 towers, among which 7,800 mobile telephone towers in Italy and 4,600 mobile telephone towers and 3,400 towers allocated for audiovisual broadcasting in Spain.

In 2014 Abertis' net profit rose to 655 million

Abertis, a global leader in toll road management and one of the world’s leading telecommunications infrastructure operator, is currently present in 12 countries both in Europe and the Americas, playing an especially important role in Spain, France, Brazil and Chile. In 2014, Abertis' net profit rose to €655 million, with a 6.2% increase on the previous year’s figures and the group's operating income stood at €4.89 billion, registering a 7% increase in comparison with 2013.  The positive figures for this period were achieved by a number of factors such as a general improvement of motorway traffic in Spain (up by 2% for the first time since 2007), the incorporation of new companies such as the Puerto-Rican firm Metropistas and the Spanish outfit Hispasat, and the development of a new business division of mobile phone towers.

In 2014, the group's investmentactivities stood at €1.5 billion, of which €426 million was invested in Spain. A total of €832 million was channelled into strategies aimed at expanding the Catalan group, for example, through major projects in the highway sector in Brazil and investments in the satellite business.

In addition to these investments, the group has spent some €820 million on acquisitions such as in Chile, where it bought 42.3% of the company Invin for €450 million. Currently, the toll road management business represents 87% of the company’s total turnover while the remaining 13% is provided by the new business of mobile phone towers, which is becoming increasingly important. Indeed, in October 2014, Abertis announced the admission to trading of its terrestrial telecommunications subsidiary Abertis Telecom Terrestre, which will take place during the first half of 2015.

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  • Abertis' headquarters, based in Barcelona (by ACN)

  • Abertis' headquarters, based in Barcelona (by ACN)