After announcing a plan to move away from Latin American markets, Madrid based Telefónica (BME: TEF) has sold 621 Colombian mobile telephony towers to Florida-based Phoenix Tower International, and agreed to sell 521 more Colombian towers and 1,408 towers in Ecuador.
In Colombia, Telefónica operates under the Movistar brand name.
The 1,408 towers in Ecuador were sold for €202 million Euros, or an average of €143,465 per tower. The 621 Colombian towers were sold for €87 million, or an average of €140,096 per tower according to Telefónica, which says the sale represents a multiple of 18x operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA). Telefónica still owns over 66,000 towers, with 20,000 in its Telxius operating subsidiary. 60% of Telefónica towers are now in the 4 countries where it intends to focus: Spain, Brazil, United Kingdom & Germany. Telefónica intends to make a strategic pivot away from its Spanish-speaking Latin American Markets as it announced earlier this year.
For Phoenix Tower, the transactions represent an expansion into Ecuador and Colombia, and strengthens its partnership with Telefonica. Once the transaction closes, Phoenix Tower will operate roughly 7,000 towers in Latin America.
“We are honored to expand our relationship with Telefonica in Ecuador and Colombia and look forward to working closely with them on their ongoing wireless build-out initiatives across the world. These transactions are exciting for PTI and will allows us to become the market leader in Ecuador, a USD based market with three healthy wireless operators with significant 4G build-out needs in the coming years, says Dagan Kasavana, Phoenix Tower’s CEO. “The transaction in Colombia solidifies PTI’s strong market position with over 1,800 owned towers. Colombia has been a great market for PTI, and we see continued growth from all of the carriers in the coming years.”
Phoenix Tower International (“PTI”), the largest private tower company in the Americas, owns and operates over 8,000 towers, 986 km of fiber and over 80,000 other wireless infrastructure and related sites in fourteen countries located across the Americas and Europe.