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Vodafone Group Plc (VOD)

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Thursday 18 March, 2021

Vodafone Group Plc

Vantage Towers IPO Pricing

RNS Number : 6360S
Vodafone Group Plc
18 March 2021
 

 

NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION OR ANNOUNCEMENT, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, IN OR INTO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AUSTRALIA, CANADA, JAPAN OR ANY OTHER JURISDICTION IN WHICH THE DISTRIBUTION OR ANNOUNCEMENT WOULD BE UNLAWFUL

Vodafone Group Plc : Vantage Towers IPO Pricing

17 March 2021

Vodafone and Vantage Towers set final offer price at €24.00 per Vantage Towers share

· Shares expected to begin trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange tomorrow, 18 March 2021

· Placement of 95,833,334 shares (including 12,500,000 shares to cover over-allotments) resulting in gross proceeds to Vodafone of €2.3 billion (assuming the greenshoe is exercised in full)

· The successful offering implies a market capitalisation of Vantage Towers of €12.1 billion

· The IPO represents a significant milestone for Vantage Towers as the company continues its commercial focus on deploying the full potential of its market leading tower infrastructure to serve the increasing demand for connectivity across Europe

Nick Read, Chief Executive of Vodafone Group, said:

"This IPO unlocks value for our shareholders: it demonstrates the value of our towers assets in a 5G world, sets up Vantage Towers to unlock its full potential as a focused independent tower operator, with the proceeds reducing Group debt. Eighteen months ago we started the carve out of Vantage Towers as part of our strategy to improve returns on our assets. We have moved at pace and today's successful IPO is the culmination of all that hard work .

The strategy to reshape Vodafone to create sustainable stakeholder value continues."

Vivek Badrinath, Vantage Towers Chief Executive, commented:

"We have had great engagement with investors and we are pleased with the successful completion of the offering. The IPO is an important milestone and sets the foundations for the next stage of Vantage Towers' growth within the dynamic towers sector. Our commercial focus, superior grid and strong balance sheet means we are well-placed to capture these opportunities."

 

Vodafone Group Plc and Vodafone GmbH ("Vodafone Germany" and together with Vodafone Group Plc, "Vodafone") in consultation with Vantage Towers AG ("Vantage  Towers") and the underwriters have set a final offer price of €24.00 per share for existing ordinary registered shares with no par value (the "Shares") offered in Vantage Towers' initial public offering (the "IPO"). In total, Vodafone is placing 95,833,334 Shares (including 12,500,000 Shares to cover over-allotments) in the IPO, amounting to a total placement of up to €2.3 billion based on the offer price (assuming the greenshoe is exercised in full). The Shares placed represent 18.9% of Vantage Towers' issued and outstanding share capital. Based on the offer price, Vantage Towers' total market capitalisation amounts to approximately €12.1 billion. Vodafone will use the net proceeds from the placing to pay down debt.

Trading of the Shares on the Regulated Market of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (Prime Standard) is expected to commence tomorrow, 18 March 2021, under the trading symbol "VTWR", German Securities Code (WKN) A3H 3LL and ISIN: DE000A3H3LL2.  

Vantage Towers, Vodafone Germany and Digital Colony, a cornerstone investor, have each agreed to a lock-up period of 180 calendar days, subject to certain customary exceptions.

IPO Syndicate

BofA Securities, Morgan Stanley and UBS are acting as Joint Global Co-ordinators and Joint Bookrunners, and Barclays, Berenberg, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Jefferies   are acting as Joint Bookrunners.

About Vantage Towers

Vantage Towers is a leading towers company in Europe with approximately 82,000 macro   sites in 10 countries, connecting people, businesses and devices in cities and rural areas.

The company was founded in 2020. Its headquarters is in Düsseldorf, Germany. Vantage Towers' portfolio includes towers, masts, rooftop sites, distributed antenna systems (DAS) and small cells. By building, operating and leasing this passive infrastructure to Vodafone and other network operators, Vantage Towers is making a significant contribution to better connectivity and the sustainable digitisation of Europe.

For more information, please visit our website at www.vantagetowers.com , follow us on Twitter at @VantageTowers or connect with us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/vantagetowers .

As of 31 December 2020, Vantage Towers had gross assets of €10.4 billion. For the financial year ended 31 March 2020, Vantage Towers had profit before taxation of €417 million (on a pro forma basis as outlined in the prospectus). 

 

About Vodafone

Vodafone is a leading telecommunications company in Europe and Africa. Our purpose is to "connect for a better future" and our expertise and scale gives us a unique opportunity to drive positive change for society. Our networks keep family, friends, businesses and governments connected and - as COVID-19 has clearly demonstrated - we play a vital role in keeping economies running and the functioning of critical sectors like education and healthcare. 

Vodafone is the largest mobile and fixed network operator in Europe and a leading global IoT connectivity provider. Our M-Pesa technology platform in Africa enables over 45 million people to benefit from access to mobile payments and financial services. We operate mobile and fixed networks in 21 countries and partner with mobile networks in 48 more. As of 31 December 2020 we had over 300 million mobile customers, more than 27 million fixed broadband customers, over 22 million TV customers and we connected more than 118 million IoT devices. 

We support diversity and inclusion through our maternity and parental leave policies, empowering women through connectivity and improving access to education and digital skills for women, girls, and society at large. We are respectful of all individuals, irrespective of race, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, belief, culture or religion.

Vodafone is also taking significant steps to reduce our impact on our planet by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2025 and becoming net zero by 2040, purchasing 100% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2025, and reusing, reselling or recycling 100% of our redundant network equipment.

References to Vodafone in this section are to Vodafone Group Plc and references to Vodafone Group are to Vodafone Group Plc and its subsidiaries unless otherwise stated.

For more information, please visit www.vodafone.com , follow us on Twitter at @VodafoneGroup or connect with us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/vodafone .

For more information, please contact:

Investor Relations  Media Relations

Investors.vodafone.com     Vodafone.com/media/contact

[email protected]   [email protected]

Registered Office: Vodafone House, The Connection, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2FN, England. Registered in England No. 1833679  

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE

This announcement constitutes neither an offer to sell nor a solicitation to buy securities of Vantage Towers. The offering and listing of the Shares on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse) was made solely by means of, and on the basis of, a published securities prospectus (including any supplements thereto, if any). The offer period for the securities has ended and the securities have already been sold. An investment decision regarding the Shares should have only been made on the basis of the securities prospectus. The securities prospectus is available free of charge from Vantage Towers, Prinzenallee 11 - 13, D-40549, Düsseldorf, Germany, and on the Vantage Towers website.

The information contained herein does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy nor has there been any sale of the securities referred to herein in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would have been unlawful prior to registration, exemption from registration or qualification under the securities laws of any jurisdiction.

This announcement is not for distribution, directly or indirectly, in or into the United States (including its territories and possessions, any State of the United States and the District of Columbia), Australia, Canada or Japan. This announcement does not constitute or form a part of any offer or solicitation to purchase or subscribe for securities in the United States, Australia, Canada or Japan. The securities mentioned herein have not been, and will not be, registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933 (the "Securities Act").

The securities have not been offered or sold in the United States except pursuant to an exemption from the registration requirements of the Securities Act. There has been no public offer of securities in the United States.

In any EEA Member State, other than Germany, this communication is only addressed to and is only directed at "qualified investors" in that Member State within the meaning of Article 2(e) of Regulation (EU) 2017/1129 (the "Prospectus Regulation").

In the United Kingdom, this publication is being distributed only to and is directed only at persons who are "qualified investors" within the meaning of Article 2 of the Prospectus Regulation as it forms part of retained EU law in the United Kingdom as defined in the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (as amended) who (i) have professional experience in matters relating to investments falling within the definition of "investment professionals" in Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005, as amended (the "Order"), or (ii) are persons who are high net worth bodies corporate, unincorporated associations and partnerships and the trustees of high value trusts, as described in Article 49(2)(a) to (d) of the Order or (iii) are persons to whom this communication may otherwise be lawfully communicated (all such persons together being referred to as "Relevant Persons").

Forward-looking Statements

This announcement contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 with relation to the IPO, including the listing date, use of proceeds and Vodafone's greenhouse gas emissions targets.

Forward-looking statements are sometimes, but not always, identified by their use of a date in the future or such words as "will", "anticipates", "aims", "could", "may", "should", "expects", "believes", "intends", "plans", "prepares" or "targets" (including in their negative form or other variations). By their nature, forward-looking statements are inherently predictive, speculative and involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that may or may not occur in the future. There are a number of factors that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. All subsequent written or oral forward-looking statements attributable to Vodafone or any member of the Vodafone group, including Vantage Towers or any member of Vantage Towers, or any persons acting on their behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the factors referred to above. No assurances can be given that the forward-looking statements in this document will be realised. Any forward-looking statements are made of the date of this announcement.

Subject to compliance with applicable law and regulations, neither Vodafone nor Vantage Towers nor BofA Securities Europe SA, Morgan Stanley Europe SE, UBS AG London Branch, Barclays Bank Ireland PLC, Joh. Berenberg, Gossler & Co. KG, BNP PARIBAS, Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft, Goldman Sachs Bank Europe SE and Jefferies GmbH (together, the "Underwriters") nor their respective affiliates intend to update, review, revise or conform any forward looking statement contained in this announcement to actual events or developments whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, and do not undertake any obligation to do so.

The Underwriters are acting exclusively for Vantage Towers and Vodafone and no-one else in connection with the IPO. They will not regard any other person as their respective clients in relation to the IPO and will not be responsible to anyone other than Vantage Towers and Vodafone for providing the protections afforded to its clients, nor for providing advice in relation to the offering, the contents of this announcement or any transaction, arrangement or other matter referred to herein.

In connection with the IPO, the Underwriters and their respective affiliates may take up a portion of the Shares offered in the IPO as a principal position and in that capacity may retain, purchase, sell, offer to sell for their own accounts such Shares and other securities of Vantage Towers or related investments in connection with the IPO or otherwise. In addition, the Underwriters and their respective affiliates may enter into financing arrangements (including swaps or contracts for differences) with investors in connection with which the Underwriters and their respective affiliates may from time to time acquire, hold or dispose of Shares. The Underwriters do not intend to disclose the extent of any such investment or transactions, other than in accordance with any legal or regulatory obligations to do so.

None of the Underwriters or any of their respective directors, officers, employees, advisers or agents accepts any responsibility or liability whatsoever for or makes any representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the truth, accuracy or completeness of the information in this release (or whether any information has been omitted from the release) or any other information relating to Vantage Towers, whether written, oral or in a visual or electronic form, and howsoever transmitted or made available, or for any loss howsoever arising from any use of this release or its contents or otherwise arising in connection therewith.

To cover potential over-allotments, Vodafone GmbH has agreed to make available up to 12,500,000 Shares to the Underwriters. In addition, Vodafone GmbH has granted the Underwriters an option to acquire a number of Shares equal to the number of Shares allotted to cover over-allotments during the Stabilisation Period (as defined below). In connection with the placement of Shares, Morgan Stanley Europe SE will act as the stabilisation manager and may, as stabilisation manager, make over-allotments and take stabilisation measures in accordance with legal requirements (Art. 5(4) and (5) of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014 in conjunction with Articles 5 through 8 of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/1052) to support the market price of the Shares and thereby counteract any selling pressure. The stabilisation manager is under no obligation to take any stabilisation measures. Therefore, stabilisation may not necessarily occur and may cease at any time. Such measures may be taken on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse) from the date when trading in the Shares is commenced on the regulated market segment (regulierter Markt) of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse), expected for 18 March 2021, and must be terminated no later than 30 calendar days after this date (the "Stabilisation Period"). Stabilisation transactions aim at supporting the market price of the Shares during the Stabilisation Period. These measures may result in the market price of the Shares being higher than would otherwise have been the case. Moreover, the market price may temporarily be at an unsustainable level.

 

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