Abertis has announced its intention to launch during 2015 an initial public offering (IPO) of its terrestrial telecoms business, which involves a network of around 8,000 towers for broadcasting (radio and television) and towering (mobile telephone).
Listing this business will provide Abertis with funds to continue growing its toll road business and reinforce its commitment to financial solvency and shareholder remuneration.
According to the firm, the IPO of the terrestrial telecoms business will enhance its financing flexibility and increase its visibility, at a time when the market is hungry for telecoms infrastructure projects. Moreover, it will allow the unit to raise new funds in the future to finance its growth and international expansion, in a market where there are currently many opportunities, particularly in the European mobile telephone towers segment.
The new company will operate independently from Abertis, with its own brand, corporate image and management team.
In this sense, the Chief Executive Officer of Abertis, Francisco Reynés, commented:
This IPO will enable the terrestrial telecoms business to continue the growth we have seen over recent years, enhancing its position to take advantage of opportunities in the telecoms infrastructure market, and adding value to its international potential as a neutral operator.
The company has also announced that it will increase its ordinary dividend per share by 5% per year until 2017, it will maintain its bonus share issue of 1 new share for each 20 existing shares and it will carry out a share buyback program of up to 5%. Abertis plans to distribute over €2,000 million in ordinary dividends over the next three years.
Abertis presented its new Strategic Plan for 2015-2017 to the investors community in London on 30 October 2014. It sets an objective of improving its key financial indicators over the next three years, with an estimated average annual growth of 8% in EBITDA, up to €4,000 million in 2017. Its efficiency objectives include improving the EBITDA margin from 64% in 2014 to 68% in 2017. These objectives, together with the growth goal, are backed by a new corporate structure, with new appointments to lead some business divisions.
The company has also presented its results for the first nine months of 2014. The EBITDA is up 11% on the same period in 2013 to over €2,400 million and net profits reach €560 million, which is a 5% more.