Friday 13 August 2021 11:03 am

British tower giant Arqiva looks to shed broadcast and smart meter businesses

British tower owning firm Arqiva is looking to sell off its broadcasting and smart meter operations, according to reports, which could result in a £2.5bn payday.

It follows the sales of its UK telecom masts in another £2bn deal with Cellnex Telecom SA in 2019.

The firm’s remaining businesses could be worth around £2.5bn, Bloomberg reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

However, a spokesperson for the Arqiva told City A.M. it had no comment on the matter.

Arqiva owns around 1,150 television transmissions sites that cover 98.5 per cent of the UK population with Freeview, and also provides smart meters for Thames Water and Anglian Water customers.

The reports come just days after a fire at one of its TV masts in Bilsdale, north Yorkshire, which has left around 1m customers without TV or radio.

With the 2020 Euros and Tokyo Olympics colliding in the same summer, the firm’s broadcast and transmission business – which works with the BBC and ITV – has seen an uptick in activity.

Commercial director of broadcast and radio, Chris Alner, said last month: “We always have a big intake of breath as we come into every summer, and right now we’re even more aware that we need to be prepared because things might need to change.

“It’s always important, but this year it’s even more so as everyone’s watching at home.”

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