Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) is buying a 30% stake in American Tower’s €8.8bn European business.

CDPQ is investing over €1.6bn for its stake in ATC Europe as part of a newly created partnership with American Tower, a global real estate investment trust listed on the New York stock exchange.

American Tower said it will retain managerial and operational control, as well as day-to-day oversight of ATC Europe, while CDPQ will obtain seats on ATC Europe’s board of directors, along with certain governance rights.

The companies said the partnership will position American Tower and CDPQ to jointly benefit from “sustainable, long-term secular wireless growth trends in select European markets as 5G deployments and demand for communications infrastructure accelerate”.

In January, Telefónica announced that its subsidiary Telxius Telecom had agreed to sell its telecommunications towers division in Europe (Spain and Germany) and in Latin America (Brazil, Peru, Chile and Argentina) to American Tower for €7.7bn.

ATC Europe’s portfolio, pro forma for the closing of American Tower’s pending Telxius acquisition, will consist of nearly 30,000 communications sites.

Tom Bartlett, American Tower’s president and CEO, said: “CDPQ’s extensive infrastructure experience, deep knowledge of the region and long-term investment philosophy are in close alignment with American Tower’s European strategy, operational excellence and long track record of historical success.

“This transaction not only contributes to the funding of our pending Telxius acquisition, which will transform our scale and leadership position in highly attractive markets like Germany and Spain, but also creates a solid, adaptable framework through which future expansion opportunities can be evaluated and financed.”

Emmanuel Jaclot, CDPQ’s executive VP and head of infrastructure, said: “This dedicated growth platform with a global leader enables us to increase our exposure in key European markets — including Germany, France and Spain — while contributing to the development of critical carrier-neutral telecom networks, at a time where telecommunications needs are more important than ever.”

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