Vodafone to list mast unit in 2021

The spin-off unit, which became operational in May, is set for IPO in Frankfurt

FILE PHOTO: Different types of 4G, 5G and data radio relay antennas for mobile phone networks are pictured on a relay mast operated by Vodafone in Berlin, Germany April 8, 2019.     REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch/File Photo

Vodafone, the world's second biggest mobile operator, said on Friday it would list its towers unit, named Vantage Towers, in Frankfurt in early 2021.

It announced it would set up a European mast company worth upwards of €18 billion a year ago. The spin-out, which has more than 68,000 mobile towers across nine European markets, became operational in May.

Chief executive Nick Read said the launch of the new towers company was a major step in his strategy of improving the return from Vodafone's assets.

"Vantage Towers will also unlock further value for shareholders, notably through the IPO targeted for early 2021," he said on Friday.

Vodafone will be Vantage Tower's anchor tenant, providing around 90 per cent of its revenue at launch, and it aims to add other long-term tenants to its infrastructure, Vodafone said.

Vodafone also reported a 1.3 per cent decline in first-quarter organic service revenue, which it said was mainly due to Covid-19 impacts. It reiterated its guidance for the year.