Virgin Media O2 in Talks to Sell Stake in Mobile Tower Business Cornerstone to GLIL

Virgin Media O2 is currently engaged in exclusive discussions with GLIL Infrastructure regarding the sale of a portion of its shareholding in Britain’s largest mobile tower network, Cornerstone. This prospective deal is estimated to value the business at approximately £2.5 billion ($3.03 billion), Reuters news report said.
Virgin Media and O2GLIL Infrastructure, a collaboration of British pension funds, emerged victorious in a competitive auction conducted by Virgin Media O2’s parent companies, Liberty Global and Telefonica. The auction aimed to divest a part of their 50 percent stake in Cornerstone earlier this year.

Should the negotiations conclude successfully, an announcement regarding the sale of a minority stake in the telecom tower business, representing less than 25 percent, could be made as early as next week.

Both Telefonica and Liberty Global have been collaborating with financial advisors to facilitate the sale of up to half of their combined 50 percent stake in Cornerstone. The remaining portion of the business is owned by Vodafone through its Frankfurt-based subsidiary, Vantage Towers.

Cornerstone, established in 2012, currently holds the distinction of being the largest tower company in Britain, managing and overseeing more than 20,000 sites.

In recent years, infrastructure and private equity investors have shown significant interest in acquiring stakes in some of the most prominent telecom tower businesses, including a deal on Deutsche Telekom’s sale of a majority stake in GD Towers. This interest can be attributed to the stable cash yield and long-term contractual agreements that these telecom tower companies offer.