Arqiva to be broken up?
August 5, 2019
By Chris Forrester
Two years ago, UK-based transmission specialist Arqiva was contemplating a £6 billion (€6.5bn) IPO, but now reports are circulating that its owners are contemplating breaking the company up into its various divisions and possible disposals.
Arqiva is responsible for transmitting the UK’s terrestrial television and radio signals. Its satellite uplinking business – which has struggled to be profitable for some years – could also be included. Its satellite division revenues fell by 7.1 per cent in the half-year to December 31st 2018.
Arqiva also owns about 8,000 cellular radio towers. It also carries the UK’s ‘Freeview’ signal of 31 video DVB-T streams and manages the ‘Freeview Play’ on-demand system and most of the UK’s digital radio stations.
Last year, the business reported overall revenues of £962 million (and £482.9 million for the half-year to December 31st 2018).
The company is owned by investment funds including Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Australia’s Maquarie.
Amongst the options under consideration, reported London’s Sunday Telegraph, could be to float a portion of the business.
However, affecting the decisions could be Arqiva’s debt, which amounted to £1.562 billion (as at December 31st last year).