Deutsche Telekom and towerco Cellnex have agreed to combine their tower businesses in The Netherlands and set up a joint fund to invest in additional digital infrastructure.
The companies will become anchor investors in a newly established Digital Infrastructure Vehicle (DIV), an investment fund focused on European digital infrastructure. Deutsche Telekom will transfer its T-Mobile Infra business into the fund and will receive a EUR250 million cash payment and a shareholding in DIV. This translates into a capital commitment by Deutsche Telekom of around EUR400 million. Cellnex, which will own 62% of the DIV will commit EUR200 million of capital.
As a result of the agreement, Cellnex Netherlands will operate 4,314 sites, including 180 sites that will be built out over the next seven years.
This is the latest move by Cellnex to increase its footprint in Europe, which is experiencing ongoing considation in the sector. It also comes hard on the heels of news that Telefonica is selling its tower business to American Towers. European telecoms towers are increasingly seen as highly investable because of their steady future-proof returns, combined with a willingness for European MNOs to part with their passive infrastructure in order to release capital to reduce debt or invest in network upgrades.
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