Telefónica Movistar in Ecuador and Colombia are to offload more towers to Phoenix Tower International (PTI).
Phoenix Tower International has agreed a purchase and sale and Master Lease Agreement for 1,408 tower sites in Ecuador and completed the purchase of 621 towers in Colombia.
This bring the total number of towers sold by Telefónica Colombia to PTI to 1,046 towers in 2019.
Growing power of towerco
PTI said these latest transactions expands its footprint in Ecuador, reinforces PTI's position as a leading tower company in Colombia and strengthened ties between PTI and Telefónica as they extend their partnership across the region.
Once the transactions are complete, PTI will own and operate more than 7,000 towers across Latin America.
Dagan Kasavana, CEO of PTI said, “These transactions are exciting for PTI and will allows us to become the market leader in Ecuador, a US dollar-based market with three healthy wireless operators with significant 4G build-out needs in the coming years.
“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.”
Five-point plan in action
On 27 November, Telefónica Group’s board of directors approved a five-point plan put to them by its Chairman and CEO José María Álvarez-Pallete designed to speed up the benefits of transformation, including reduing debt, having posted a loss at the end of Q3.
2019 has seen Telefónica Group’s share price fall sharply and one of the five remedies is to focus on the four markets in which it sees sustainable growth – Spain, Brazil, the UK and Germany.
The other opcos in LatAM – Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Equador, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela – have been put into a separate operating company.
It will undergo a strategic review so the company can better control its exposure in the region and create conditions to maximise its value through growth, consolidation and possibly selling some off.
Selling off tower sites is a growing trend among European operators, who are seeking to release or better reflect the value of their assets, which they claim are not accurately reflected in their share prices.