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Vodafone and O2 to commercialise joint passive tower venture Cornerstone

Jasper Hart
January 11, 2021

Deal adds €62m in EBITDA to Voda’s infrastructure unit Vantage Towers

Vodafone and O2 will commercialise their passive tower joint venture Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure.

Vodafone will transfer its 50 per cent stake to its new European infrastructure unit Vantage Towers this month, the MNO said in a statement.

Following this transfer, O2 and Vantage will each own 50 per cent of Cornerstone, extending Vantage’s portfolio to 10 European markets, and 82,000 macro sites across the continent.

Vodafone and O2 have also each entered into a long-term Master Services Agreement (MSA) with Cornerstone for eight years, which makes it the preferred supplier of new tower sites for the two MNOs from the start of this month with three eight-year renewal periods.

Cornerstone has pledged to build 1,200 new sites by 2025 for Vodafone and O2. The two operators have also agreed to passive tenancies on around 1,950 existing sites built by Cornerstone.

“Cornerstone is a great addition to the Vantage Towers portfolio,” said Vantage CEO Vivek Badrinath. “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.”

Vodafone’s stake would add €62 million (£56 million) to Vantage’s 2020 financial EBITDA after Leases, the operator said.

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