Arqiva gets closer to IPO or sale

Sky News is reporting that UK communications giant Arqiva has appointed four investment banks to advise it on either a London stock market listing, or a complete sale.

Sky says the banks are Barclays, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and JP Morgan. The news confirms numerous market rumours these past months that the company’s current owners (a consortium of mainly Canadian and Australian investors) were looking to exit their holdings.

The news report stresses that the advice is at an early stage and may not be concluded until 2018.

Arqiva operates the transmission infrastructure for much of the UK’s terrestrial broadcasting as well as owning some 8,000 cellular telephony towers used by a strong client base including EE, O2 and Vodafone.

The company’s biggest investor is the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, which holds 48 per cent of the shares, followed by the Australian bank Macquarie, which directly holds a further 25 per cent.

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