Thursday, June 21, 2018

Altice forms tower infrastructure companies in France and Portugal

Altice Europe will sell off equity stakes in its tower infrastructure business in France an Portugal for EUR 2.5 billion in cash. The idea is to form two tower companies offering passive infrastructure and equipment in France and Portugal. Services will be available to all mobile network operators. Altice France and PT Portugal will enter into 20-year master agreements with these new infrastructure companies.

Altice said the deal will help it to reduce debt. Here is an outline of the plan.

Altice France has entered into an exclusivity agreement with KKR for the sale of 49.99% of the equity in the to be formed tower company (“SFR TowerCo”) that will comprise the 10,198 sites currently operated by SFR. The envisaged transaction values SFR TowerCo at an enterprise value of €3.6 billion, representing a very attractive multiple of 18.0x 2017 pro forma EBITDA of €200 million. In addition, a build-to-suit agreement for 1,200 new sites between SFR and SFR TowerCo is expected to generate approximately €250 million in additional proceeds to SFR within the next 4 years.

PT Portugal has reached an agreement with a Consortium including Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners and Horizon Equity Partners for the sale of 75% in the to be formed tower company (“Towers of Portugal” or “ToP”) that will comprise 2,961 sites currently operated by Altice Portugal. The transaction values Towers of Portugal at an enterprise value of €660 million, representing a highly attractive multiple of 18.9x 2017 pro forma EBITDA of €35 million. In addition, a build-to-suit agreement for 400 new sites between MEO and ToP is expected to generate approximately €60 million in additional proceeds to MEO within the next 4 years.  ToP’s portfolio of towers, strategically located throughout Portugal, represents the single largest tower portfolio in the country.

Altice founder Patrick Drahi said: “I am enthusiastic about creating new tower partnerships in France and Portugal. With KKR, Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners and Horizon Equity Partners, we have found long-term partners of the highest-quality who share our vision to invest in leading infrastructure and growth opportunities. We will create a leading European tower business, including the #1 in France. Both tower businesses will be uniquely positioned to grow as they provide increasingly important infrastructure services to operators in both markets. Simultaneously, these transactions underline our commitment to delever and proactively manage our balance sheet while highlighting the significant underlying value of Altice Europe’s business."

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