By Arno Schuetze
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Vodafone is expected to price shares in infrastructure unit Vantage Towers at 24 euros ($28.60) each, valuing the firm at 12 billion euros in one of Europe’s largest initial public offerings of 2021, bookrunners on the deal said on Wednesday.
The company is expected to reap 2.13 billion euros from the deal, assuming that an overallotment option is not exercised, one of the deal organisers added.
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.
The deal adds to a strong pipeline of new listings this year including Polish e-commerce firm InPost, German used-car trading platform AUTO1, British footwear brand Dr. Martens and food delivery firm Deliveroo.
Telecom towers have become the target of several big deals as Spain’s Cellnex and U.S.-based American Tower Corp 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.
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.
($1 = 0.8398 euros)
(Reporting by Arno Schuetze and Muvija M; Editing by Louise Heavens and Jan Harvey)