Telenet To Sell Belgian Towers For €745M


By Anne Morris

Belgium-based operator Telenet has agreed to sell its mobile towers business to DigitalBridge Investments for €745 million(US$818.5million), indicating it will use some of the proceeds to invest in 5G-friendly spectrum and fibre network deployments.

The cable player, which acquired Belgian mobile operator Base from Netherlands-based KPN in 2016, has entered into a binding agreement with the infrastructure investment group on the sale and lease back of 3,322 sites across Belgium, including 2,158 owned sites and 1,164 third-party sites.

Specifically, DigitalBridge is buying 100 per cent of TowerCo, a newly created company for Telenet’s passive infrastructure and tower assets. Telenet will enter into a master lease agreement for the towers with an initial period of 15 years and two renewals of 10 years each.

The agreement also includes a build-to-suit commitment to deploy a minimum of 475 additional new sites, with Telenet acting as a subcontractor to TowerCo. DigitalBridge said the deal would create the first independent TowerCo in Belgium. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022.

Telenet noted that the sale completes the strategic assessment carried out by its board in October 2021, and is fully in line with its strategy to further develop its infrastructure assets through partnerships and realise shareholder value.

It is earmarking some of the proceeds from the transaction for investments in fibre and 5G. For instance, Belgium is due to hold its 5G spectrum auction in June, after the regulator BIPT approved five participants earlier this month.

Furthermore, Telenet has teamed up with Fluvius on the creation of a NetCo joint venture. The planned JV would combine the pair’s existing hybrid fiber coaxial (HFC) and fibre network assets and build new fibre networks in the Flanders region of Belgium.

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