Arqiva Prepares $3.5 Billion Sale of U.K. Business
(Bloomberg) -- Arqiva is preparing to sell its remaining operations, which could be valued at about 2.5 billion pounds ($3.5 billion), people familiar with the matter said.
The closely held U.K. group is working with an adviser to solicit bids, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information. Its portfolio now mostly consists of broadcasting towers, as well as a smart meter business, after it agreed to sell its U.K. telecom masts to Cellnex Telecom SA in 2019.
Indicative offers are expected next month and a sale could draw both private equity and strategic suitors, the people said. A representative for Arqiva declined to comment.
Arqiva owns about 1,150 television transmission sites that cover 98.5% of the U.K. population with Freeview, and roughly 1,500 broadcast transmission sites, according to its annual report for the year through June 2020. It also provides networks for smart meters for customers of utilities including Thames Water and Anglian Water.
The company traces its history back to the 1920s. Its biggest shareholder is Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, which owns 48% of the business, according to the annual report. Arqiva’s owners also include arms of Macquarie Group Ltd., IFM Investors Pty and other Australian funds.
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