Telekom Austria has named the two men who will lead its towers business, due to be spun off and floated later this year.

Mary Lennighan

June 16, 2023

3 Min Read
telecoms radio towers

Telekom Austria has named the two men who will lead its towers business, due to be spun off and floated later this year.

The move marks a concrete step in the right direction for the creation of the new towers business, which has been under discussion for some time, but seems to be taking a while to come to fruition.

We now have a little more information on possible timelines though. The new leaders of the business are tasked with getting the business ready for a listing in Vienna during the second half of the year, Telekom Austria said, having previously shied away from any sort of commitment on dates.

Ivo Ivanovski will serve as the future CEO of the towers company, moving from his current role as Head of International Regulatory & European Affairs of the A1 Telekom Austria Group, the telco revealed. He will be assisted by CFO Lars Mosdorf, whose experience lies mainly in the airports sector, his most recent post having been as CFO, CHRO and Management Board member at Düsseldorf Airport.

The pair were nominated for their positions by Telekom Austria’s main shareholders América Móvil and Österreichische Beteiligungs AG (ÖBAG). The two biggest shareholders – they control 51% and 28.4% of the telco respectively – agreed to the towers spinoff and flotation plan back in February, meaning the operator could move forward with the plan. It still required the approval of its supervisory board, which came within a matter of days.

The nominations of the CEO and CFO of what is still being dubbed TowerCo are subject to the approval of TowerCo’s future supervisory board, and the spinoff itself still requires the green light from an extraordinary shareholder meeting due to take place in the coming months – no date has been set – but these feel like rubber stamps. The way is now essentially clear for Ivanovski and Mosdorf to crack on with the plan.

Indeed, “as managing directors of TowerHolding GmbH, they will immediately co-lead the necessary preparatory work to spin off the tower business into a separate company,” Telekom Austria said.

That separate company has a footprint of around 12,900 towers in Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia and Northern Macedonia. That’s around a third the number held by GD Towers, which was part sold by Deutsche Telekom last year in a deal that valued it at €17.5 billion.

While it’s tempting to try to extrapolate a valuation for the Telekom Austria business from that figure, it probably would not prove particularly accurate. GD Tower’s 40,000 sites are mainly located in Germany with some in Austria, while Telekom Austria’s footprint is broader and located in smaller markets. Nonetheless, taking a bit of a punt, while this could be a €5 billion business, at a push, we’re probably looking at low single digits.

Still, that’s a reasonable return on a bit of asset monetisation for Telekom Austria.

 

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About the Author(s)

Mary Lennighan

Mary has been following developments in the telecoms industry for more than 20 years. She is currently a freelance journalist, having stepped down as editor of Total Telecom in late 2017; her career history also includes three years at CIT Publications (now part of Telegeography) and a stint at Reuters. Mary's key area of focus is on the business of telecoms, looking at operator strategy and financial performance, as well as regulatory developments, spectrum allocation and the like. She holds a Bachelor's degree in modern languages and an MA in Italian language and literature.

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