Phoenix Tower International (PTI) is investing $930m (€904m) to buy up to 3,800 telecommunications sites in Chile from WOM, a deal that makes PTI the largest communications tower owner in Chile.

PTI said its Chilean subsidiary, Phoenix Tower International Chile, has agreed to acquire approximately 2,334 tower sites at the initial closing and 1,466 additional sites by 2024 from WOM, the telecommunication company owned by Novator Partners. 

Part of the agreed $930m will be paid upon transfer of the additional sites.

The deal, which makes PTI the largest communications tower owner in Chile, also expands the firm’s global presence to over 22,000 towers in 19 countries.

Dagan Kasavana, CEO of PTI, said: “PTI is excited to enter the wireless infrastructure market in Chile. We have strong relationships with all four mobile network operators in the country, each of which will be deploying 5G networks in the near term.

“We are proud of our partnership with WOM and the continued expansion of the relationship that this transaction represents.”

Tim Culver, executive chairman of PTI, said this transaction further solidifies PTI’s global footprint and is a fantastic next step for its customers, employees and Blackstone, which recently acquired a 35% stake in PTI from Manulife Investment Management.

PTI said it will partly fund the deal with a financing facility led by Scotiabank and supplemented by PTI’s additional finance providers which includes Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Ares Management Corporation.

The equity for the transaction was provided by various Blackstone funds, including those managed by Blackstone’s infrastructure and tactical opportunities businesses, it said.

WOM’s CEO, Sebastian Precht, said: “This deal enables WOM to strengthen our focus to provide affordable, easy-to-access, world-class connectivity to all Chileans and will allow us to fulfil our promise to deliver the best service at fair prices.

”It also enables us to strengthen our investment in Chile, particularly expanding 5G coverage from Arica to Punta Arenas over the next several months, as well as expanding coverage into rural areas of the country by delivering upgraded connectivity and contributing to a reduction of the digital gap.”

“We are proud of our company in Chile, and this is a significant milestone for WOM and another step in strengthening our position in the region. We are also pleased to deepen our relationship with PTI across the region,” said Novator’s chairman Thor Björgólfsson.

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