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Cellnex shares soar on report that American Tower, Brookfield mulling possible bid

A telecom antenna of Spain’s telecom infrastructure company Cellnex is seen in Madrid

MADRID (Reuters) - Shares in Spain's Cellnex jumped 8% on Friday after a media report that said American Tower and asset manager Brookfield were weighing a possible takeover bid for the mobile phone tower operator.

Spanish online outlet Okdiario quoted unidentified sources close to the operation saying Goldman Sachs was advising Cellnex, while Morgan Stanley was advising American Tower and Brookfield.

Cellnex, Brookfield, American Tower and their advisers declined to comment.

Cellnex shares were up 8.3% at 12.21 GMT to lead gains in Spain's blue chip index Ibex-35.

The shares over the past year are down almost 40%.

Barcelona-based Cellnex this month said CEO Tobias Martinez would step down after the company in November announced a strategy shift away from acquisitions to focus on lowering debt.

After borrowing heavily to build the largest cellphone mast network in Europe, mainly through acquisitions, it has adopted a "more conservative financial risk profile" in the face of rising interest rates.

(Reporting by Andres Gonzalez and Emma Pinedo; additional reporting by Jesús Aguado; editing by Jason Neely)