TOP NEWS: Vodafone And Telefonica To Commercialise Cornerstone

(Alliance News) - Vodafone Group PLC on Monday said its subsidiary Vodafone UK Ltd and Telefonica ...

Alliance News 11 January, 2021 | 9:35AM
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(Alliance News) - Vodafone Group PLC on Monday said its subsidiary Vodafone UK Ltd and Telefonica UK Ltd have entered into eight-year master services agreements to commercialise Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Ltd, a joint venture that manages the two company's UK passive tower infrastructure.

The Newbury, England-based telecommunications company noted it established Cornerstone in 2012 with Slough, England-based Telefonica UK, part of Spain's Telefonica SA, to create and manage a single network of passive infrastructure contributed by both mobile network operators. Cornerstone operates 14,200 macro sites and 1,400 micro sites for the two companies.

Vodafone UK said the master services agreement will establish Cornerstone as a preferred supplier of new macro and micro sites for both companies.

Additionally, Vodafone UK said it plans to transfer its 50% holding in Cornerstone into its European infrastructure unit Vantage Towers this month. Vodafone's 50% stake in Cornerstone would add EUR62 million to Vantage Towers' pro forma 2020 financial year adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation after leases, it said.

Vodafone said Vantage Towers, which it separated out in 2020, is "Europe's leading tower infrastructure platform", with more than 68,000 towers across nine markets. Back in July, it said it planned to list Vantage Towers in Frankfurt in 2021 and added at the time that it might add the Cornerstone portfolio into Vantage.

The Cornerstone transfer will extend Vantage Towers' portfolio to 82,000 macro sites in 10 markets across Europe, Vodafone said Monday.

"Cornerstone is a great addition to the Vantage Towers portfolio. Cornerstone is exactly the type of high quality grid we like to own: a number one market position, and two strong anchor tenants with network sharing agreements in place for whom we are the preferred supplier. We look forward to working with our anchor tenants to power the UK's digital transformation, enabling the roll-out of 5G networks to benefit business and consumers and ensuring greater mobile coverage for all," said Vantage Towers Chief Executive Vivek Badrinath.

Shares in Vodafone were up 0.2% at 128.69 pence in London early Monday, while shares in Telefonica were down 0.2% at EUR3.56 in Madrid.

By Zoe Wickens;

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