Spanish wireless infrastructure giant Cellnex Telecom has acquired the Portuguese telecommunications tower and site operator OMTEL, owned by Altice Europe and Belmont Infra Holding. This agreement is worth around EUR 800 million, and the acquisition includes the projected deployment of 400 new mobile cell sites in the next four years, adding to the 3,000 sites that OMTEL currently operates in Portugal.
Cellnex said that to facilitate the upcoming 5G roll-out in Portugal, the company has been rapidly expanding, and its build-to-suit (BTS) program could involve constructing a further 350 sites for third parties by 2027. The estimated investment for this BTS plan is expected to be EUR 140 million. The Spanish towerco anticipates that this acquisition will increase the company’s sales backlog by EUR 2.5 billion to EUR 38.5 billion.
Tobias Martinez, CEO of Cellnex, said, “With OMTEL, we are not only integrating one of the leading independent telecommunications infrastructure operators in Portugal. We are also committing to consistent growth in Europe, incorporating an eighth market – which naturally extends the current geographical coverage of the seven countries in which we already operate, and in this case especially due to the proximity and operational synergies that may arise with the Group in Spain.”
This agreement also secures a long-term partnership with Portugal’s leading telecommunications company MEO (formerly Portugal Telecom). “We are also incorporating a new client, MEO, which is the market leader and joins a rich and diversified mix of clients in Europe, covering the leading operators in the markets in which we operate,” said Martinez.
Apart from the OMTEL acquisition, Cellnex also purchased 1,500 sites from Orange Spain, Arqiva’s Telecoms division for around 2 billion British Pounds, as well as the Irish tower company Cignal, 70 percent of the operating company which manages Iliad’s 7,900 sites, and 2,800 sites from the Swiss operator Salt. In addition to these activities, Cellnex also obtained marketing and operating rights for 220 BT tall telecommunication towers distributed throughout the UK for a 20 year period, and has signed numerous cooperation agreements across the continent.
According to the statement, since its public listing in 2015, Cellnex has made investments worth around EUR 12 billion towards the acquisition or construction of up to 48,000 telecommunications infrastructure sites. This significant growth has added to the approximately 10,000 sites that the company held at the time of the public offering.