May 7, 2019 / 6:14 AM / 9 months ago

Iliad to sell mobile towers in France and Italy to Cellnex for 2 bln euros

PARIS, May 7 (Reuters) - Telecoms group Iliad said it was in talks over selling its mobile tower assets in France and Italy to Cellnex for 2 billion euros ($2.24 billion), in a deal that should strengthen Iliad’s financial position.

The exclusive talks would lead to a sale of 70 percent of the company that manages Iliad’s mobile telecom infrastructure in France, representing 5,700 sites, and the whole of the company that manages its towers in Italy, which has 2,200 sites.

The Paris-based company, whose first-quarter sales grew by 7.7 percent to 1.29 billion euros, expects both transactions to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

“This transaction is part of a long- term industrial strategy allowing us to accelerate rollout of our 4G and 5G networks and to increase Iliad’s investment leeway,” said Iliad chief executive Thomas Reynaud.

“This transaction supports the group’s new growth and innovation cycle. It enables more efficient infrastructure roll-outs in the future while meeting the challenges of further increasing territory coverage,” he added.

$1 = 0.8921 euros Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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