Towers business Cellnex has ruled out any further M&A opportunities in the European towers market.
Cellnex chief executive Tobías Martínez confirmed to the Financial Times that the firm's "M&A activity is over" as inflation soars and the company seeks to improve its credit rating.
It follows a period of heavy investment from the Spanish masts company, which recently finalized the acquisition of CK Hutchison's towers business in the UK.
But rising inflation is making it tougher to finance new deals, says the company, which has also acquired CK Hutchison towers in Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, and Sweden.
“Material, inorganic growth for the next 24 months is over,” said Cellnex's chief executive, who noted that the company had pursued deals in the market due to negative interest rates making "money almost free".
The aggressive acquisition trail from Cellnex has seen the firm acquire 130,000 towers across 12 European countries. The company's net debt rose to €17.1bn ($17.5bn) from €14.3bn ($14.65bn) in June, largely as a result of the €10 billion ($10.28 bn) CK Hutchison towers acquisition.
However, one acquisition that Cellnex opted not to push ahead with was the Vantage Towers deal, which eventually saw Vodafone sell a majority stake to KKR and Global Infrastructure Partners. Cellnex had been reportedly interested in buying a majority stake in Vantage.