Vodafone to reap up to 2.3 billion euros from Frankfurt IPO

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imageStock Markets5 hours ago (Mar 17, 2021 20:45)

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Different types of 4G, 5G and data radio relay antennas for mobile phone networks are pictured on a relay mast operated by Vodafone in Berlin

By Arno Schuetze

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Vodafone (LON:VOD) has priced shares in infrastructure unit Vantage Towers at 24 euros each, valuing the firm at 12.1 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in one of Europe’s largest initial public offerings this year, Vantage Towers said.

Vodafone is reaping as much as 2.3 billion euros from the deal, assuming that an overallotment option (greenshoe) is fully exercised at the final offer price, Vantage Towers added.

Trading is slated to start in Frankfurt on Thursday.

The British-based operator had set the initial price range for the flotation of Vantage Towers at 22.50 to 29 euros per share, before narrowing that to 24-25 euros this week. It had targeted proceeds of 2-2.8 billion euros.

“This IPO unlocks value for our shareholders: it demonstrates the value of our towers assets in a 5G world,” Vodafone Chief Executive Nick Read said.

Assuming the greenshoe will be fully exercised, Vodafone will continue to hold 81.1%.

The deal adds to a strong pipeline of new listings this year including Polish e-commerce firm InPost, German used-car trading platform AUTO1, British footwear brand Dr. Martens and food delivery firm Deliveroo.

Telecom towers have become the target of several big deals as Spain’s Cellnex and U.S.-based American Tower (NYSE:AMT) Corp race to increase their European footprint, eyeing the roll-out of next-generation 5G technology.

Upgrading networks, including towers, for 5G – which promises an age of self-driving cars and brain surgery performed at a distance – will soak up some $890 billion between 2020 and 2025, the GSMA industry body says.

European operators are increasingly willing to exploit assets to help finance those build-outs.

While selling towers outright brings piles of cash, many are also looking to create separate tower units or launch joint ventures with independent companies as a way to keep a chunk of potential future growth.

($1 = 0.8348 euros)

Vodafone to reap up to 2.3 billion euros from Frankfurt IPO

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