London: Spain’s Abertis Infraestructuras is expected to raise up to €1.7 billion ($1.84 billion; Dh6.85 billion) with the sale of up to 61 per cent of telecoms unit Cellnex, a source at one of the banks managing the sale said on Tuesday.

That would mean Cellnex, which runs mobile towers in Spain and Italy, would be worth up to €2.8 billion when it is sold to institutional investors in the first half of this year.

Spain’s recovering economy is an important draw for investors and demand for infrastructure assets in Europe is strong, as the successful sale of Spanish airports operator Aena showed in February.

Cellnex, Spain’s dominant signal transmitter, had revenues of €436 million in 2014, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of €178 million.

The sale of the unit will allow infrastructure firm Abertis, which runs toll motorways, to concentrate on its core business and maintain shareholder returns, the source said.

In a statement, Abertis confirmed that the sale was due to go ahead but a spokesman declined to comment further.

Joint global coordinators are Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and CaixaBank.