Vodafone likely to announce giant IPO of European towers unit in few days – ET Telecom

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By Ruth David and Swetha Gopinath

Vodafone Group Plc is planning to announce the giant initial public offering of its European towers unit in the coming days, according to people familiar with the matter.

The intention-to-float document for Vantage Towers could be published as soon as Wednesday morning, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing private information. Vantage Towers could be valued at 15 billion euros ($18.2 billion) or more in the IPO, the lower range of analyst estimates, the people said.

Discussions are ongoing and the timing of the Vantage Towers announcement could change, the people said. Representatives for Vodafone and Vantage Towers declined to comment.

The company will be competing for investors with Cellnex Telecom SA, which earlier this month announced plans for a capital increase of as much as 7 billion euros to help fund its acquisition of French telecommunication towers from billionaire Patrick Drahi’s Altice Europe NV.

Carving out towers is the centerpiece of Vodafone Chief Executive Officer Nick Read’s strategy to squeeze more value from assets owned by the U.K. telecommunications giant. Proceeds from the IPO will go toward paying down some of Vodafone’s multibillion-euro debt pile, the company has said.

Vodafone has picked Frankfurt for the listing, reflecting the high share of tower assets from that country in Vantage’s portfolio.



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