Phoenix Tower International expand reach further into Caribbean
Phoenix Tower consolidate position in three markets and reach out to new island homes for the fast growing towerco
This week Phoenix Tower International (PTI) announced an expansion of its portfolio across The Caribbean with an acquisition of 1,300 sites from Liberty Latin America (LLA) in Panama, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Barbados and the British Virgin Islands.
As with other sale and leasebacks signed in the last few years, the transaction also includes a built-to-suit element. LLA has promised 500 new sites will sent to PTI over the next five years. As part of the deal the total proceeds will increase to US$407mn with net proceeds to be used to reduce debt and further invest in the LLA’s businesses.
Balan Nair, president and CEO of Liberty Latin America has said “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.”
“In addition, the long-term lease agreements and ongoing coverage extension will enable us to continue delivering leading mobile services to our customers and support network expansion including future 5G deployment plans across the Caribbean and Latin America, while lowering capital costs associated with these assets. This deal is a great example of our disciplined approach to delivering shareholder value through free cash flow accretive transactions.”
The deal also includes long-term master lease agreements in each market for the LLA’s continued use of the telecoms tower infrastructure once the transaction is completed.
The transaction is subject to standard closing conditions and government approvals. It is expected to complete within the next three to six months. TowerXchange expects to have full counts available for these markets by the end of the year to be published in our next regional guides.
“PTI is excited to partner with Liberty Latin America and expand its presence in the Caribbean and Panama. This transaction strengthens PTI’s presence in existing markets while representing new market expansion for PTI in the markets of The Bahamas, BVI, and Barbados,” added Dagan Kasavana, chief executive officer of Phoenix Tower International.
“As the largest independent owner of wireless towers in the Americas, we look forward to enhancing wireless access in these markets by serving all our wireless customers and the populations of the region with better connectivity and solutions to help our business partners achieve their goals. We appreciate greatly the hard work of both teams to consummate this fantastic transaction.”
The 1,300 sites were sold for US$407mn which suggests a healthy US$313,076 which is closer to price paid by Highline or SBA Communications in Brazil in 2019/2021 than some of the more depressed valuations we have seen of late, underlying the investibility of CALA towers and the stability of the markets.
PTI already has sites in Jamaica and Panama. In Panama its 162 sites came from an acquisition of American Tower in 2014 (which had itself bought the towers from GTP in 2013). Panama is home to two of LATAM's newest towercos, Lati and Sites and so the LLA towers were the last directly mobile-operator owned sites left in the market. Panama itself is also home to SBA Communications, Continental Towers and Torrecom. AMN, an African rural specialist also entered the market last year.
PTI has long been at home in the smaller markets of the Caribbean with sites in the (relatively large) Dominican Republic and (relatively small) French Antilles. It entered Jamaica in 2018 and now has 507 sites there. In Puerto Rico, the American Territory, PTI already owns sites alongside Sites, QMC and Innovattel /Torresec.
TowerXchange has little information on The Bahamas, Barbados and the British Virgin Islands but will be extending our coverage in the Caribbean.