Liberty Latin America: Unpacking the Tower Sale to Phoenix International

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Liberty Latin America, a major telecommunications player, is set to raise over $400 million through a strategic deal selling mobile tower sites across various Caribbean and Central American markets. The acquiring party is none other than the increasingly prominent US-based Phoenix Tower International (PTI).

The deal stipulates that PTI will acquire 1,300 mobile tower sites stretched across markets in Panama, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Barbados, and the British Virgin Islands. The transaction, valued at $407 million, also encompasses a joint endeavor to construct an additional 500 sites within the next five years.

Sales proceeds will serve dual purposes for Liberty Latin America. Firstly, they will aid in reducing the company’s debt burden, a significant consideration for many telecom providers. Secondly, they will be funneled back into the enterprise, funding further investments in diverse business sectors. The Q3 results announcement published recently by Liberty Latin America, whose operations span approximately 20 markets in the Caribbean and Latin America, revealed a customer base exceeding 8 million mobile users as of end-September.

A keen approach towards mergers and acquisitions has marked the company’s strategy for expanding its regional footprint. A recent example includes the notable $256 million acquisition of over 100 MHz of spectrum and 120,000 prepaid subscribers from Dish Network in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

Liberty Latin America CEO Balan Nair expressed satisfaction over the deal, stating, “We are pleased to work with a high-quality partner with extensive operating experience in our region in PTI and reach an agreement that crystallizes the value of our mobile tower infrastructure assets.”

PTI’s evolvement in this occurrence represents a stepping-stone in the company’s ambitious M&A strategy, one that has been characterized by a decade of extensive growth and expansion. PTI CEO Dagan Kasavana revealed, “[the] transaction strengthens PTI’s presence in existing markets while representing new market expansion for PTI in the markets of The Bahamas, BVI, and Barbados.”

This agreement represents a small part of broad and robust expansion efforts by PTI. The company, recently having made its debut in Germany through the acquisition of NOVEC’s German unit, also closed another major deal in September, acquiring nearly 2,000 sites in France. In the interim, PTI announced a new €1.2 billion senior credit facility in Europe, implemented to consolidate its existing loans and stimulate further growth in new and existing European markets.

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