CALA news

A roundup of tower news across Central and Latin America

Mexico: Carlos Slim to sell minority stake of Telesites?

Citing sources familiar with the matter, Reuters reports that Carlos Slim is considering the sale of a minority stake in Telesites. According to the news outlet, talks have started with private equity firms and other funds for the divestment of a portion of his 61% stake in the towerco.

Mexico: Axtel sells towers to American Tower

Axtel, a Mexican telecom operator, has agreed to sell 142 towers to American Tower for US$56mn in a sale and leaseback transaction. The deal should be concluded by the end of 2017.

Mexico: ALTÁN Redes negotiates with towercos

ALTÁN Redes has reached out to American Tower and Telesites to negotiate co-location options in order to achieve its deployment targets of 2,659 sites by end of March 2018. ALTÁN Redes is likely to co-locate on existing sites during the initial phases of deployment and take advantage of American Tower and Telesites’ large portfolios across Mexico.

Mexico: IFT initiates spectrum auction

The Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones has published the initial bidding rules for its 2.5GHz spectrum auction. Submissions are open until 4 September.

Colombia: Tigo sells towers to American Tower

Tigo Colombia has agreed to sell and leaseback around 1,200 towers to American Tower for a total value of approximately US$147mn.

Colombia and Peru: PTI seals three deals in the Andean region

Phoenix Tower International has finalised three transactions for a total of 150 towers in Colombia and Peru. According to their press release, PTI has “furthered our scale in both markets with quality sites poised for growth as well as real estate partnerships with majority property owners that we can collocate new customers on or construct new towers on.”

Ecuador: CNT considers tower sale

CNT, the state owned Ecuadorian carrier, is reportedly looking at divesting some of its tower portfolio.

Paraguay: IIC grants loan to Tigo

The Inter-American Investment Corporation (IDB Group) has sealed a PYG402bn (approximately US$73mn) loan with Tigo for the enhancement of their 3G network as well as the rollout of a 4G network in the country’s major cities.

The operation in local currency is an innovative type of loan that combines the use of capital from the Instituto de Previsión Social (IPS), the local pension fund, with an AAA international credit guarantee from the IDB Group, which covers the IPS’ credit exposure.

Chile: Entel to invest in 4G LTE rollout

Entel announced it will double its investments in 4G LTE network up to US$200mn. As per its 700MHz license, the operator must install 660 LTE base stations across Chile.

Brazil: Anatel considers withdrawing Oi’s license

Anatel is analysing the possibility of removing Oi’s operating license as a result of the unsolved bankruptcy protection case. According to Reuters, the request came from Anatel’s councilor Igor de Freitas and is now being considered. Oi’s reorganisation plan hearing is scheduled for October 9.

Brazil: TIM Brasil and AMT finalise tower sale

TIM Brasil has transferred the last 54 towers to American Tower for US$6.4mn. The transaction represent the last batch of the sale of 5,873 towers (versus 6,481 originally planned) initiated in 2014 for a total value of US$850mn (at today’s exchange rate versus US$1.2bn as forecast in 2014).

Brazil: TIM Brasil eyes fibre company

TIM Brasil has confirmed its interest to acquire CEMIG Telecom, a regional operator owned by the Brazilian utility firm CEMIG. Brazilian news outlet TeleSíntese quoted TIM Brasil’s CEO Stefano de Angelis saying: “Our industrial plan foresees major investments in the construction of fibre-optic networks, so why not buy the fibre network already built by CEMIG? … We have to look at the financial terms to see if the deal makes sense.”

Brazil: TPG Capital and ZTE consider investments in Oi

TPG Capital and ZTE are reportedly considering investments in Oi. Other rumoured deals with Elliott Management Corporation (EMC) and Egyptian mogul Naguib Sawiris failed to happen.

Brazil: AINMT buys 30% stake in Nextel Brasil

Scandinavian telecom group AINMT has agreed to purchase a 30% stake in Nextel Brasil from US-based NII Holdings for an initial US$50mn. AINMT and NII Holdings also negotiated an option for a further US$150mn to be discussed in November 2017.

Argentina: Nextel seals spectrum sharing agreement

Nextel has sealed a spectrum sharing agreement with a cooperative of cable operators, Red Intercable. As part of the deal, wireless coverage will reach 560 new locations.

Argentina: Telefónica de Argentina considers IPO or sale 

Telefónica is assessing an IPO to raise funds or a partial sale of its Argentinian operations to reduce its debts. The value of the Telefónica de Argentina has been estimated around €3.9bn including debts.

Argentina: Telecom Argentina and Cablevision to merge

Telecom Argentina and Cablevision have announced their intention to merge. In June, Grupo Clarin and Cablevision have informed the Argentine Securities Commission and the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange of the plan but the merger is currently subject to regulatory approvals.

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