TV tower firm Arqiva eyes £6bn UK listing


Crystal Palace tower

Image caption

Arqiva’s TV masts include the famous Crystal Palace transmitter

The UK’s largest owner of TV transmitters, Arqiva, has announced plans to float on the London Stock Exchange in a £6bn listing.

Arqiva traces its roots back to the BBC’s first radio broadcast in 1922, and its masts are used by TV channels, radio stations and mobile networks.

The flotation comes after a failed attempt to sell the company privately.

The firm aims to raise £1.5bn to pay down debt in a share sale that would likely see it enter the FTSE 100 index.

Sale talks

Arqiva’s clients include BBC, ITV and international broadcasters. It estimates its TV transmissions cover more than 98% of the UK.

The firm, owned by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Australian bank Macquarie, was widely reported to be in talks about a sale.

But the collapse of discussions with Canadian and Singaporean investors has paved the way for an initial public offering instead.

Arqiva chief executive Simon Beresford-Wylie said: “Arqiva provides the critical infrastructure and skilled workforce that ensures the effective operation of the UK’s television, radio, telecoms and smart meters.

“We are very much looking forward to bringing our unique combination of leading assets and skills to the public markets.”



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