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Herbert Smith Freehills advises Cellnex on the acquisition of 10,700 sites from Iliad in France and in Italy and from Salt in Switzerland, and roll out of "built to suit" programs of up to 4,000 new sites

16 May 2019 | Paris
Deals and cases

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Leading law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has advised Spanish company Cellnex, Europe’s leading operator of wireless telecommunications infrastructures, in entering into a series of long-term strategic cooperation agreements with (i) Iliad, the parent company of Free, with respect to Iliad's passive mobile telecom infrastructure in France and Italy and with (ii) the Swiss operator Salt for a similar contract in Switzerland. These transactions amount to 2.7 billion euros, in addition to 1.35 billion euros built to suit programmes for 4 000 new sites.

In France, Cellnex has committed to acquire 70% of the company that manages Iliad's French mobile passive infrastructure consisting of 5,700 sites, for an amount of 1.4 billion euros. 

In Italy, Cellnex has finalised an agreement with Iliad Italia for the 600 million euros acquisition of the 2,200 Iliad sites in Italy.

In Switzerland, Cellnex has reached an agreement with Salt for the 700 million euros acquisition of 90% of the company which will manage the 2,800 telecommunications sites currently integrated in Salt.

These transactions are subject to the usual administrative, regulatory and employee representative procedures.

In addition to these acquisitions, 1.35 billion euros will be invested for the gradual built to suit roll-out of 2,500 new sites in France, 1,000 sites in Italy and 500 in Switzerland between 2020 and 2027.

These transactions substantially strengthen Cellnex's position in France, Italy, and Switzerland.

Herbert Smith Freehills advised Cellnex with a team consisting of partner Edouard Thomas, Of Counsel Cyril Boulignat, and associates Frédéric Tual, Gaël Barbier and François Piquet on corporate aspects; partner Christophe Lefort on project matters; partner Sergio Sorinas and Of Counsel Marie Louvet on competition law; partner Eric Fiszelson, and associates Cécile Alet and Romain Guirault on financing; partner Bruno Knadjian and associate Pierre Denizot-Heller on tax issues; partner David Lacaze and associate Dounia El Hassar on real estate aspects, and partner Sophie Brezin and associate Lauriane Gregor regarding employment law.

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