Vodafone is expected to price shares in infrastructure unit Vantage Towers at 24 euros or $28.60 each, valuing the firm at 12 billion euros in one of Europe’s largest initial public offerings of 2021.
The company is expected to reap 2.13 billion euros from the deal, assuming that an overallotment option is not exercised, Reuters reported.
The bookrunners said books were covered multiple times at that pricing and above, with closing expected at 1300 GMT.
The British-based operator had set the initial price range for the flotation of Vantage Towers at 22.50 to 29 euros per share, before narrowing that to 24-25 euros this week. It had targeted proceeds of 2-2.8 billion euros.
Telecom towers have become the target of several deals as Spain’s Cellnex and U.S.-based American Tower race to increase their European footprint, eyeing the roll-out of next-generation 5G technology.
Upgrading networks, including towers, for 5G – which promises an age of self-driving cars and brain surgery performed at a distance – will soak up some $890 billion between 2020 and 2025, the GSMA industry body says.
The GSA confirmed that there are now 153 operators in 64 countries/territories who have (as of mid-March 2021) announced 3GPP-compatible 5G launches for either mobile or FWA services. In total, there are now 428 operators in 132 countries/territories investing in 5G mobile or 5G FWA/home broadband networks.
European operators are increasingly willing to exploit assets to help finance those build-outs.
While selling towers outright brings piles of cash, many are also looking to create separate tower units or launch joint ventures with independent companies as a way to keep a chunk of potential future growth.