Paris, 23 October, 7.00am
The iliad group (France and Italy) and Cellnex are expanding their strategic partnership to Poland
A move that will finance the rollout of Play’s fixed network in Poland and accelerate the rollout of its 4G / 5G network
Play is expected to receive € 804 million*
The iliad group (“iliad”) has expanded its strategic partnership with Cellnex to cover Play’s mobile telecommunications passive infrastructure in Poland. This partnership fits perfectly into the passive infrastructure sales process announced by Play’s management team and its current shareholders.
iliad has signed an agreement with Cellnex to sell 60% of the company that will manage Play’s mobile telecom passive infrastructure, which includes about 7,000 sites. The agreement will be transferred to Play when iliad gains control of Play. The amount Play is expected to receive is around € 804 million *.
The strategic interests of the partnership are twofold. First, strengthening Play’s investment capacity, which is entering into a new business development cycle, by (i) deploying and purchasing 5G frequencies, (ii) densifying its cellular network to match usage growth, and (iii)) planned entry into the fixed market.
Second, this partnership will allow Play to remain in full control of its network while facilitating a smooth infrastructure rollout. As a result, it fulfills the following two purposes:
- Ensures that Play maintains its independence to manage active components of its network.
- Increase the sharing of passive infrastructure between telecommunications operators at a time when a balance must be struck between the need for more compact infrastructure and controlling the environmental footprint of the network.
As a future new shareholder of Play, iliad intends to launch a program to build around 5,000 sites to meet the growing connectivity needs of individuals and businesses in Poland. As part of the program agreement, the Group will build at least 1,500 of these sites in partnership with Cellnex, representing approximately € 400 million * over the next ten years.
In the same way as iliad’s takeover of Play, the partnership agreement is subject to the standard regulatory provisions for this type of transaction (i.e. permission from the relevant anti-trust authority). The deal could be closed during the first half of 2021 once this permit is obtained.
In the application of the 2016/1055 Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) dated 29 June 2016 which stipulates the application of technical standards related to technical means for appropriate public disclosure of insider information and to delay disclosure of insider information to the public in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 596 / 2014 from the European Parliament and Council, this press release may contain inside information and was communicated to the professional information provider iliad on 23 October 2020 at 7:00 am. (Paris Time).
* Based on a EUR / PLN exchange rate of 4.58
iliad is the parent company of Free, the founder of Freebox, ADSL’s first multiservice box. Free is behind various innovations in the Broadband and Ultra-Fast Broadband access segments (VoIP, IPTV, fixed-rate calling packages to various destinations, etc.) and provides direct and innovative offers at the best prices. Since January 2012, Free has been bringing mobile use to everyone’s reach with a direct and non-committal offer at very attractive prices. As of 30 June 2020, Free had nearly 20 million subscribers in France (6.6 million Broadband and Ultra-Fast Broadband subscribers and 13.4 million cellular subscribers). On 29 May 2018, the Group launched its mobile network in Italy under the brand iliad, becoming the fourth operator in the country, and having nearly 6.3 million subscribers as of 30 June 2020.
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