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Exclusive: Britain's Virgin Media O2 nears stake sale in towers ... - Reuters

Author: Reuters

Source: https://www.reuters.com/business/media-telecom/britains-virgin-media-o2-nears-stake-sale-towers-business-glil-sources-2023-10-28/

Image of Exclusive: Britain's Virgin Media O2 nears stake sale in towers ... - Reuters

[1/2]Youths look at their mobile phones as they sit in a giant deckchair on the South Pier following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Blackpool, Britain, August 16, 2020.Picture taken August 16, 2020.REUTERS/Phil Noble/File PhotoAcquire Licensing RightsLONDON, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Virgin Media O2 is in exclusive talks to sell a slice of its shareholding in Britain's largest mobile tower network to GLIL Infrastructure, according to four sources familiar with the matter, in a deal that could value the business at about 2.5 billion pounds ($3.03 billion).GLIL, a partnership of British pension funds, has prevailed over other investment firms in an auction that Virgin Media O2's owners, Liberty Global (LBTYA.O) and Telefonica (TEF.MC), held for part of their 50% stake in the tower company, called Cornerstone, earlier this year, the sources said on Friday.If negotiations are concluded successfully, a deal for a minority stake of less than 25% could be announced as early as next week, two of the sources added.The sources cautioned that there remained a chance that no deal would be completed and asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential.Telefonica and Liberty Global have been working with advisers on the sale of up to half of their combined 50% stake in Cornerstone.Vodafone (VOD.L) owns the rest of the business through its Frankfurt-based subsidiary Vantage Towers (VTWRn.H).Spokespeople for Telefonica, Liberty Global, Virgin Media O2 and GLIL declined to comment.Cornerstone, established in 2012, is Britain's largest tower company, managing more than 20,000 sites, according to the company's website.In recent years infrastructure and private equity investors have competed for slices in some of the largest tower deals, including Deutsche Telekom's sale of a majority stake in GD Towers, because of their stable cash yield and long-term contracts.($1 = 0.8241 pounds)Reporting by Amy-Jo Crowley and Andres Gonzalez, with additional reporting by Paul SandleEditing by Helen PopperOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.Andres Gonzalez covers M&A for Reuters, based in London.With over 12 years of experience as a correspondent in Spain, he has reported on diverse sectors, including banking, TMT, energy, infrastructure and real estate.Andres has also reported on significant breaking news events, such as the Barcelona attacks and several general elections, showcasing his versatility and ability to handle critical and time-sensitive storiesAndres' journalism career began at Reuters in Spain, where he honed his expertise in financial reporting. Seeking new challenges, he ventured into the world of Public Relations, working for Banco Santander with a particular focus on Wealth Management and Investment Banking divisions.His experience in both journalism and PR has provided him with a well-rounded perspective on the financial industry.Contact: +34636287872

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