CK Hutchison moves European towers into new unit

(Image credit: Three UK)

Three’s parent company CK Hutchison is to spin off its mobile tower assets into a subsidiary, hoping the separation will drive cost savings across its European networks.

Earlier this year the Hong Kong-based conglomerate, which also owns businesses in retail, logistics and other industries, moved its telecoms assets into a single organisation called CK Hutchison Telecom.

The hope is that this restructure will create efficiencies and allow the company to refinance some of its debt. The creation of a tower asset organisation is the next stage in this strategy.

CK Hutchison towers

The company will be created by early 2020 at the latest and will command 28,500 towers across Europe. It also paves the way for CK Hutchison to monetise the assets further, such as opening up space to third party operators.

“The new organisation structure and the refinancing transaction will allow the Group to generate significant financing cost savings from 2020 onwards, as well as rationalise its investments in light of the expected need for harmonisation of network, IT platform, and infrastructure configurations to meet new transnational business opportunities going forward,” said the company.

Vodafone recently created a new division to manage its tower assets as it seeks to find €1.2 billion in cost savings. The unit will command nearly 62,000 towers in ten countries and opens up the greater possibility of infrastructure sharing with other operators or opening up the unit to other investors.

Any proceeds from the new tower division will be used to reduce Vodafone’s debt and any flotation would depend on market conditions.