Tigo Colombia to sell towers to KKR
Millicom has been on a journey to begin monetising its towers again that is now bearing fruit
Millicom announced in late January that it would be selling 1,100 towers in Colombia to Nexo Latam, a digital infrastructure platform that supports the implementation of KKR's infrastructure strategy throughout Latin America. The exact number of towers will be determined once the various closings have taken place, which are subject to customary closing conditions.
“This transaction with KKR, a leading digital infrastructure franchise with deep sector expertise and commitment to the region, is another step towards crystallizing the value of our tower sites across Latin America, simplifying our business, and allowing us to focus on servicing our customers." said Mauricio Ramos, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Millicom. He added "This transaction enhances our operational and capital efficiency in Colombia, with long-term lease obligations denominated in Colombian pesos, consistent with our objective of increasing our proportion of financing in local currency.”
Commenting on the deal Waldemar Szlezak, a partner on KKR’s Infrastructure team, said: “KKR seeks to develop the telecommunications industry in Latin America through best-in-class mission-critical assets such as fiber, towers and small cells. This acquisition – along with KKR's fiber investments in Chile, Colombia and Peru – underscores KKR's commitment to its digital infrastructure platform in LatAm. This important agreement with Tigo is in line with our strategy of long-term partnerships with leading companies in the region.”
Nexo Latam is led by Mariano de Beer. He has experience in the reigon and was Chief Commercial and Digital Officer at Telefonica, responsible for all global digital products and a Member of the Telefonica Group Executive Committee. Before that he was he was the CEO of Telefonica Brazil and President of Vivo.
Nexo Latam's early staff included Jorge Abadia Pozuelo, who was COO of Telxius Towers, a Telefonica carve out that sold 30,722 towers to American Tower in 2021 for $9.4 billion. Abadia has left Nexo Latam to join Actis-backed data centre company NextStream as CEO.
Millicom has been developing a plan to monetise its towers through a carve-out towerco known as Lati. As of the end of 2023 the transfer of assets to Lati was complete and the operator said it would turn to monetising its towers and seeking strategic investors. The towers sold in Colombia are not part of Lati and were developed separately from those developed as Lati. Lati continues to seek a strategic investor that can help the towerco grow independently in its many markets.