American Tower, Macquarie weigh bids for TDF Infrastructure stake
TDF Infrastructure, the mobile infrastructure company whose antennas sit atop the Eiffel Tower, has drawn interest from suitors including American Tower and Macquarie in an auction for a majority holding, people familiar with the matter said.
A sale could value the entire firm at more than 5 billion euros ($5.6 billion U.S.), said the people, asking not to be identified as the details aren’t public. Digital Colony and Antin Infrastructure are also among firms considering bids for an approximately 67 per cent stake, the people said.
Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and Public Sector Pension Investment Board, which together control about two thirds of TDF, are the selling shareholders, the people said. TDF’s owners are also likely to reach out to additional potential bidders such as I Squared Capital and Partners Group to gauge interest, the people said. Marketing material has gone out and first-round bids are due by the end of May, they said.
Brookfield owns 45 per cent of TDF. PSP holds its stake as part of a consortium that also includes APG Asset Management and Arcus Infrastructure Partners and together controls another 45 per cent of the firm. Credit Agricole Assurances SA owns the remaining 10 per cent, according to TDF’s website.
More than $19 billion in telecommunications equipment deals have been announced in the last 12 months, fuelled by tower sales, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Many of the masts are being sold by phone carriers as a way to raise cash and manage costs. For bidders, the infrastructure represents steady revenue as mobile data use increases, making ubiquitous coverage more important.
Representatives for TDF, Macquarie, American Tower, Digital Colony, Antin, Partners Group, Brookfield and PSP declined to comment. I Squared didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Cellnex Telecom SA chief executive officer Tobias Martinez said this week that the firm doesn’t have the capacity to do an acquisition as large as TDF. The Spanish tower operator said Tuesday it had agreed to spend 2.7 billion euros buying thousands of towers from Iliad SA and Salt Mobile SA.
TDF Infrastructure handles mobile phone, radio and TV transmissions from more than 18,000 sites across France and owns the broadcasting masts on top of the Eiffel Tower.