Analysys Mason advises INWIT on landmark tower transaction in Italy

07 August 2019

Press release

Analysys Mason has announced its advisory role in the recently completed merger between INWIT and Vodafone Towers in Italy. The merger is the largest single-market tower transaction in Europe, creating a 22 100 tower powerhouse between two major telecoms providers and is worth over EUR1 billion to each party. Significantly, it is the first tower transaction that involves Vodafone's tower assets, and signals the beginning of a wider strategy announced by Vodafone to spin-off and trade its 61 000 towers across Europe.

The terms of the merger include an agreement between INWIT's parent company TIM and Vodafone to establish an active network sharing partnership for 5G, actively share the 4G network and to expand their existing passive sharing agreement. As part of the merger, Vodafone will combine its towers with INWIT. This will enable more-efficient deployment of 5G in Italy and offers synergies and cost-savings for both companies.

The transaction will fundamentally reshape the mobile market in Italy and also highlights potential challenges for tower companies in terms of managing a new wave of Radio Access Network (RAN) share deals and monetising 5G deployment.

Alessandro Ravagnolo, Principal at Analysys Mason, said, "Mobile towers represent a hot asset class for both strategic and financial investors. These transactions will become an essential part of operators' 5G roll-out strategies, but they are complex deals and the impact of future active RAN-share deals between mobile operators should be carefully considered. TIM and Vodafone's tower transaction is likely to become the reference point for future deals across Europe."

Various stakeholders were involved including INWIT, Vodafone TIM and INWIT's minority shareholders. Analysys Mason brought together a team with deep knowledge of the tower industry and the Italian telecoms market to provide 360-degree commercial and technical support to INWIT during the negotiation process. The merger is subject to regulatory approval.

For more information on the details of the project - Commercial and technical support to INWIT during the acquisition of Vodafone towers - the largest single-market tower transaction in Europe.