Cellnex buys 60% stake in Iliad's Polish cellphone mast unit

MADRID, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Barcelona-based cellphone mast operator Cellnex agreed with Iliad to buy a 60% stake in the cellphone tower unit of Play, a Polish telephone company the French operator is in the process of taking over, Cellnex and Iliad said on Friday.

Cellnex will pay 800 million euros ($944.08 million) for the stake and the two companies committed to invest 1.3 billion euros over 10 years to build up to 5,000 new towers, according to a Cellnex statement.

With the operation, Cellnex adds 7,000 cellphone masts to its portfolio and will run and maintain a total of 73,000 cellphone towers over nine countries.

Iliad is in the process of acquiring Play and is expected to get the European Commission’s nod soon.

Since its public listing in 2015, Cellnex has been rapidly expanding its asset base, investing more than 12 billion euros in acquiring or building thousands of cellphone towers in several West European countries and in the U.K. ($1 = 0.8474 euros) (Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)