A consortium led by Actis has acquired a portfolio of tower assets from CEE region telecommunications operator Telekom Srbija.

The Actis consortium has invested an unspecified amount to buy 1,800 macro towers located across Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro.  

In a separate announcement, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said it has joined the Actis-led consortium, which includes the International Finance Corporation, to buy the mobile towers from the Serbian state-owned telecoms operator.

Actis said as a result of the deal, it has created a fully-owned tower company, and has signed Telekom Srbija as the tower company’s anchor tenant.

The acquisition, which represents Actis’s first deal in the Western Balkans, is the firm’s eighth foray into digital infrastructure, adding to its $1bn-plus (€918.6m) commitment in the sector.

Jaroslava Korpanec, partner and head of Central and Eastern Europe at Actis, said, “We are very proud to lead this groundbreaking investment, marking the first transaction of its type in the Balkans.

”This investment strengthens Actis’ strategic decision to expand its strategy into the CEE region following on investments made in 2022 in the energy sector in Romania and Bulgaria. We look forward to a long-term relationship with Telekom Srbija in developing a first-class tower portfolio in the region.”

David Morley, partner and vice chairman at Actis, said: “Actis continues to develop a track-record in digital infrastructure, a sector where we see significant potential for future growth in our portfolio. We are excited to deploy capital in the CEE region, where Actis has committed to deploy more capital in the future.”

Holger Muent, EBRD’s head of telecommunications, media and technology, said: “This investment provides the capacity to meet increasing demand for reliable mobile services in the three countries, and enables the transfer of state-owned telecoms infrastructure into private ownership. Supported by strong international investors, the independent mobile tower company will be well-placed to boost innovation and market competition.

“Furthermore, the transaction will lead to increased efficiency and sustainability of the company’s telecoms infrastructure, as well as facilitate the implementation of best corporate governance standards.”

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