Telekom Austria: Financing of the radio tower company is in place

Telekom Austria: Financing of the radio tower company is in place
Thomas Arnoldner
Image: Renee Del Missier

EuroTeleSites has already been financed, said its CEO Ivo Ivanovski to analysts on Tuesday. 500 million euros come from a bond, plus a loan of 500 million euros and a credit line (RCF) of 75 million euros.Vienna. The spin-off is said to be worthwhile because the infrastructure will be increasingly rented out to other mobile operators in addition to the A1 in the future. “We believe that the infrastructure business requires more independence,” said the deputy CEO of the A1 Group, Thomas Arnoldner – this is one of the main reasons for the split. The radio towers would not be part of the core business of the A1 Group to the same extent as, for example, fiber optic expansion.

“Currently we have a turnover of 232 million euros per year,” said the CFO of EuroTeleSites, Lars Mosdorf, at Kapitalmarktt ag. “We expect revenue growth of 4 to 6 percent per year for the next few years.” Two-thirds of the growth will be driven by the anchor tenant A1 and the 5G expansion, which currently accounts for around half of A1’s infrastructure investments. Around 1,000 additional locations are planned. New radio towers would only be built if there were already contracts with the future tenants.

A1 and EuroTeleSites will therefore remain closely linked in the future. The contract for the use of the radio towers is generally open-ended, but can be terminated by A1 after the end of the 8th, 16th and 24th year of the contract. EuroTeleSites can withdraw from the contract after 24 years at the earliest. According to this, both contractual partners have the right to opt out at the end of the year, although this must be announced three years in advance. Rent can be increased by 85 percent of inflation, with increases capped at 3 percent per year.

However, A1 is not tied to EuroTeleSites as a provider, but can also use locations from other infrastructure providers, explained Mosdorf. However, it is currently planned to set up around 1,000 new locations over the next five years. For the time being, A1 is to provide certain services for EuroTeleSites (e.g. in the SAP area) and charge prices for them that would also be agreed with other companies (“arm’s length prices”).

In the event that EuroTeleSites should get into difficulties, a right of repurchase was agreed for the A1 at state level. More than 13,000 mobile phone masts in Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia and North Macedonia will be split off. About 7,300 of these locations are on building roofs, the rest on undeveloped land. According to Mosdorf, 46 percent of the locations are in Austria and 54 percent in Central and Eastern Europe.

EuroTeleSites AG is to be listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange this year. After America Movil recently increased its Telekom Austria stake by 5.55 percent, the company now has a 56.5 percent stake in EuroTeleSites. ÖBAG will then hold 28 percent, institutional investors will hold 9 percent, and the remaining shares will be held by small investors and other shareholders. EuroTeleSites is headquartered in Vienna and employs 173 people.

For Telekom Austria, Alejandro Plater – he has been CEO of the A1 Group again since September 1 – expects annual sales growth of between 3 and 4 percent for the coming years, depending on how inflation develops. The operating profit (EBITDA) is to be increased by 4 to 5 percent per year in the years 2024 to 2026. Investments are expected to total EUR 2.8 billion over the next three years. As recently, the dividend should be at least 32 cents per share – or even increased if business develops well.

Source: Nachrichten

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