The owners of Arqiva are reportedly planning a £5 billion sale, dropping long-held plans to float the company on the London Stock Exchange.

Sky News says the consortium of financial investors, including Australian bank Macquarie, is in the process of hiring bankers who would advise on discussions with potential buyers.

The operator of transmission sites from The Wrekin to Crystal Palace also runs some 8,000 mobile masts for EE, O2 and Vodafone.

In September the company posted record annual revenues of £884.7 million. Earlier, it sold its Wi-Fi hotspot business to Virgin Media.

Arqiva’s largest shareholder is the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, which holds 48%, Macquarie owns 25%.

The company traces its roots back to the Independent Broadcasting Authority, before being spun off in the 1990s, along the way picking up elements of National Grid Wireless and BT Broadcast.

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By Expat