Arqiva has agreed to sell its telecoms division to Cellnex in a £2 billion deal.
The 7,400 sites are involved in the distribution of UK phone signals and includes the rollout of 5G technology and small cells.
Arqiva will use the finance to reduce its debt and secure the long term sustainability of its broadcast infrastructure business.
Simon Beresford-Wylie, CEO of Arqiva, said: “This agreement provides both stability and a focus for our future as we concentrate on the provision of broadcast infrastructure, end-to-end networks and connectivity solutions for our TV and radio customers, international content owners, data network providers and utilities.
Cellnex is already a major player in the European tower business with sites in the UK, Ireland, Spain, Italy, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Its deal with Arqiva follows an announcement in June that gave the company obtained the rights to operate and market 220 high towers in the UK previously operated by BT.
“The Arqiva Telecoms division acquisition is a key milestone for Cellnex. Its strong UK asset-base, revenues and financial profile, combined with its long history at the heart of UK digital infrastructure, make it a perfect addition to our operations,” said Tobias Martinez, CEO, Cellnex.
The Arqiva division serves all four UK mobile network operators.
In addition to its 1,500 TV & radio broadcast transmission sites and five teleports Arqiva is retaining its interests in machine-to-machine data services which provide highly secure smart meter networks for the utilities sector.
A number of staff will transfer from Arqiva to Cellnex.
In August we reported that the backers of Arqiva are mulling a possible break-up of the business.