American Tower circles Cellnex as Abertis seeks to offload stake

Oliver Gill
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Spanish telecoms firms have been active in the M&A market during 2017 (Source: Getty)

US telecoms infrastructure firm American Tower is circling Spanish counterpart Cellnex, according to reports.

Shares in Madrid-listed Cellnex jumped in early trading as sources told Bloomberg one of the firm's main shareholders, Abertis, is considering plans to offload its interest in the firm.

Earlier this month conglomerate Abertis revealed Italian roads rival Atlantia had made a $18bn (£14bn) takeover offer to create the world's largest toll road operator.

Abertis owns 34 per cent of Cellnex and any divestment would hinge on the toll road merger completing.

Sources told Bloomberg a formal offer for Abertis Cellnex stake has yet to be made by American Tower.

Read more: Could €1.3bn Telefonica sale pave the way for O2 listing?

The approach is one a number of European telecoms infrastructure deals in 2017. In February the owner of O2, Telefonica, sold a 40 per cent stake in Telxius Telecom for €1.3bn (£1.1bn) to private equity giant KKR. Last week Cellnix snapped up mobile towers assets from Swiss carrier Sunrise.

“Cellnex management has not had any type of contact with American Tower over any sort of possible deal,” a Cellnex spokesman told Bloomberg.

American Towers has not responded to a request for comment from City A.M..

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