Vodafone unit marks biggest German IPO in years

It's Germany's biggest share listing in three years.

Shares in Vodafone unit Vantage Towers made their debut Thursday (March 18).

The company operates the communication masts that are the backbone of mobile networks.

Vantage CEO Vivek Badrinath says the timing is right for an IPO.

"Rolling out 5G networks and new coverage obligations and enhancements, so now is indeed the time to build, structure, strengthen and invest."

The sector has been the target of several big deals of late.

Upgrading systems to enable 5G is forecast to soak up around 890 billion dollars in investment by 2025.

European network operators are exploiting their assets to finance all that.

Spinoffs, joint ventures and share listings are among the moves.

Vodafone is expected to retain 81% of Vantage even after the IPO.

Demand for the offering massively outstripped the shares available.

Vantage stock jumped over 3% in the first moments of trading.

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