International law firms Herbert Smith Freehills and De Pardieu Brocas Maffei have advised on the signing of an exclusive agreement for the acquisition of 100% of Hivory, a French telecommunications tower operator, by Cellnex, Europe’s leading operator of wireless telecommunications and broadcasting infrastructures, from Altice, French leader in combining the telecommunications and media, and Starlight Holdco.
With this agreement, Cellnex will acquire Hivory’s portfolio of 10,500 sites in France that mainly serve SFR.
The transaction, which remains subject to the mandatory authorisation of the competition authorities, represents an investment of €5.2 billion by Cellnex, to be accompanied by an eight-year programme involving a further c.€0.9 billion for the roll-out of up to 2,500 new sites, among other projects.
Cellnex plans to launch a fully underwritten Rights Issue of up to €7 billion, which will be subject to the approval of the next shareholders' meeting, to finance the company’s growth pipeline within an 18-month horizon, including this transaction.
Herbert Smith Freehills advised Cellnex with a team which consisted of partner Edouard Thomas, of counsel Cyril Boulignat, assisted by associates Frédéric Tual, Giuliano Lastrucci and Yasmine Houichi on corporate matters; partner Sergio Sorinas and of counsel Marie Louvet on competition issues; project partner Christophe Lefort assisted by associates Thomas Herman, Emma France, Sina Abadie and François Adao; partner Eric Fiszelson assisted by associate Yasmine Bouayad on financing issues; partner Sophie Brézin, of counsel Elisabeth Debrégeas, and associate Astrid Olivier on employment law aspects.