feb mar - Page 4

News

News

Cellnex sells towers to address M & A concerns

Wireless telecommunications and broadcasting infrastructure operator Cellnex must sell over 1,000 telecoms tower sites to address competition concerns over its purchase of CK Hutchison ’ s UK towers .

Cellnex is currently active across several European countries , and CK Hutchison is a multinational conglomerate that currently owns and operates the Three mobile network in the UK .
The proposed deal , in which Cellnex has agreed to buy CK Hutchison ’ s UK passive infrastructure assets , forms part of a broader set of transactions - worth £ 8.6 billion (€ 10bn ) in total - involving assets in several European countries . Passive infrastructure assets are
“ Our decision today helps protect competition in infrastructure that mobile phone operators rely on .” structures , such as towers and masts , that mobile network operators and other wireless communication network providers attach electronic equipment to in order to operate their networks . This includes the sites that the structures are built on .
The UK ’ s Competition and Markets
Authority ( CMA ) launched an inquiry into the proposed deal in May 2021 and it was referred for an in-depth investigation by an independent Inquiry Group in July .
In keeping with its provisional findings issued in December 2021 , the CMA has found that the sale of the CK Hutchison business to Cellnex would raise significant competition concerns . The sale of the business to Cellnex would prevent the emergence of an important alternative competitor in the supply of passive infrastructure , leaving mobile networks facing higher prices and more onerous contracts in future contract negotiations . This , in turn , could result in higher prices or lower quality services for users of mobile networks across the UK over a period of time .
In order to address these concerns , Cellnex proposed the sale of all of its existing sites that geographically overlap with the CK Hutchison assets it has agreed to buy . This would result in a package of over 1,000 passive infrastructure sites being sold to a purchaser approved by the CMA .
Having assessed this remedy in detail , the Inquiry Group concluded that it would effectively address the competition concerns identified by the investigation , meaning the merger could proceed .
“ Our decision today helps protect competition in infrastructure that mobile phone operators rely on ,” stated Richard Feasey , chair of the independent Inquiry Group . “ The sale of this significant package of assets will allow a major supplier to compete against Cellnex when mobile networks look to negotiate new contracts in future . This , in turn , stops the threat of higher prices or worse terms for the operators and their customers as a result of this deal .”
“ The combined agreements with CK Hutchison not only strengthen our position as a key pan-European operator , but also reinforce our partnerships with our customers and open up new opportunities and approaches for collaboration ,” said Cellnex CEO Tobias Martinez . “ Fundamentally , this rationalisation of infrastructure will create the required incentives to unlock , improve and extend mobile coverage , including 5G , across these key markets .”
“ We are pleased that the CMA has reached the conclusion to allow the transaction to proceed ,” commented Canning Fok , CK Hutchison ’ s group co-managing director . “ This deal unlocks value in our telecom assets to our shareholders , improves our operational efficiency and accelerates our 5G rollout , benefitting consumers across the UK . The UK towers are excellent assets and we now also have a terrific partner in the UK to help us take our network there to the next level .”
Eutelsat , OneWeb distribution partnership
Eutelsat Communications and
low Earth orbit ( LEO ) satellite
communications company
OneWeb have formed a
global , multi-year Distribution
Partnership Agreement ( DPA )
for OneWeb capacity .
The partnership reflects
the deepening cooperation
between the two companies after Eutelsat became OneWeb ’ s second-largest shareholder in December 2021 , and it showcases the synergies between them , delivering Eutelsat ’ s extensive commercial reach to OneWeb while complementing Eutelsat ’ s fleet of geostationary satellites with low Earth orbit assets . It paves the way for the companies to work together on
developing combined GEO / LEO connectivity solutions .
Eutelsat chief executive officer Eva Berneke said the deal opened up the potential of low orbit to complement its geostationary assets in the fast-growing markets of aero and maritime mobility , fixed data and government services , building on the development of 5G and cloud technologies that
will generate low latency requirements .
“ This expanded partnership with Eutelsat offers us a significant opportunity to combine our GEO and LEO connectivity solutions , expanding our global capacity and further enhancing our commercial service ,” added OneWeb chief executive officer Neil Masterson .
4 EUROMEDIA