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Andreas Leigers

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Deutsche Telekom and Cellnex agree to combine tower business in the Netherlands and become anchor investors in the newly established Digital Infrastructure Vehicle

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  • Creation of the leading independent telecommunications tower company in the Netherlands
  • Deutsche Telekom transfers its Dutch tower business T-Mobile Infra as anchor investment to newly established and independently managed Digital Infrastructure Vehicle (DIV) 
  • Deutsche Telekom receives EUR 250 million cash payment
  • DIV contributes T-Mobile Infra to Cellnex NL and in return receives 38 percent stake in merged tower company – Cellnex holds remaining 62 percent
  • Cellnex commits EUR 200 million of capital to DIV and Deutsche Telekom to receive a limited partner stake in DIV of EUR 400 million
  • DIV focuses on investments in fiber, towers and data centers in Europe
210121-TowersNL

Deutsche Telekom AG (Deutsche Telekom) and Cellnex Telecom S.A. (Cellnex) have signed an agreement to merge their respective Dutch mobile communications infrastructure companies into Cellnex Netherlands BV (Cellnex NL). Both companies will also become anchor investors in the newly established and independently managed Digital Infrastructure Vehicle (DIV), an investment fund focused on European digital infrastructure.

Deutsche Telekom operates its Dutch telecommunications tower business in T-Mobile Infra BV, with ca. 3,150 towers and rooftop sites. The business of Cellnex NL, a subsidiary of Cellnex, comprises 984 cell sites. The enlarged company, with ca. 4,310 sites including planned new build of 180 sites, will be the largest independent cell mobile tower company in the Netherlands and will provide excellent geographic coverage.

T-Mobile Netherlands will continue to have full access to the contributed infrastructure through a long-term service agreement at arm’s length.

In a first step Deutsche Telekom is transferring T-Mobile Infra to the newly established and independently managed fund Digital Infrastructure Vehicle (DIV). Deutsche Telekom will receive a EUR 250 million cash payment out of the transaction and a shareholding in DIV in exchange for the T-Mobile Infra business. This translates into a capital commitment of Deutsche Telekom of ca. EUR 400 million to the fund. Cellnex has also agreed, as part of the transaction, to commit EUR 200 million of capital to DIV.

In a second step, DIV will contribute the received T-Mobile Infra business to Cellnex NL. In return, DIV receives approximately 38 percent economic interest in Cellnex NL.

In addition to the anchor investors Deutsche Telekom and Cellnex, DIV will be open to institutional investors. Deutsche Telekom intends to hold a limited partner stake of around 25 percent in the fund after the envisaged third-party investments.

DIV will focus on promoting digital infrastructure investments across Europe into fiber, towers, and data centers, with the goal of delivering attractive risk-adjusted returns.

DIV as a fund will be independently managed by a team of investment and capital market experts led by Vicente Vento, co-founder of Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners (DTCP).
"The agreement with Cellnex underlines the high value of passive mobile infrastructure. We are creating a leading tower company in the Netherlands, which should unlock synergies and accelerate our 5G rollout. At the same time, DIV opens an innovative way to finance telecom infrastructure in partnership with institutional investors," said Tim Höttges, CEO of Deutsche Telekom. "The Corona crisis has shown stable broadband connections are essential for people to communicate, both professionally and privately. That is why we are once again strengthening our commitment to digital infrastructure in Europe."

"DIV is a newly established and independently managed fund that will identify and promote exceptional digital infrastructure projects in partnership with Europe's leading telecommunications group and the leading tower company”, said Vicente Vento. “We have an exciting pipeline of projects. Our focus will be on investments that offer attractive risk adjusted returns to investors by bringing together a lean and disciplined investment approach with the strengths of our corporate partners.”

Upon closing of the transaction Deutsche Telekom will deconsolidate T-Mobile Infra B.V. which currently generates ca. EUR 60 million of revenues and around EUR 30 million of EBITDA after leases.

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