Digital Colony’s Highline swallows Phoenix Tower’s Brazil unit
Highline do Brasil, the tower company owned by Digital Colony, is to buy another Brazilian tower company, Phoenix, from existing owner Blackstone.
The acquisition of Phoenix Tower do Brasil (PTB) will add 2,500 new sites to Highline’s existing portfolio of 700 infrastructure assets, to take the total to 3,200, making Highline one of the largest privately-owned tower and small cell companies in Brazil.
Steven Sonnenstein, managing director at Digital Colony, said: “There are significant digital infrastructure investment opportunities in Brazil, and this acquisition will augment Highline’s ability to meet the increasing need for telecom infrastructure as our wireless carrier partners continue to densify their networks to keep up with the rapid growth in data consumption.” Highline has not given a price for the deal.
Highline CEO Fernando Viotti said: “These are exceptionally high-quality assets in strategic locations that will allow us to offer an even more compelling value proposition for carriers as they look for a preferred partner that can deliver a full suite of solutions and support their growth.”
He added: “The combined portfolio will give Highline an enhanced footprint in the region, and we are eager to continue to help operators densify their 4G networks and realize the benefits of 5G in Brazil.”
Digital Colony bought Highline, set up in 2012, in December 2019, making it part of a group that manages 350,000 towers worldwide.
What’s now PTB was set up a year later, in 2013, and Blackstone’s Tactical Opportunities business bought it in June 2015, to include in its existing Phoenix Tower International (PTI). At the time the operation owned and operated 529 wireless infrastructure assets in Brazil with a pipeline of over 250 wireless towers.
Highline has a portfolio of wireless infrastructure assets, including macro towers, which spans all the major urban, suburban, and rural areas of Brazil. The company counts all of Brazil’s major mobile network operators such as including TIM, Vivo, Claro and Oi as its customers.
In September 2020 Oi sold its mobile business to a consortium of three other operators for the equivalent of €2.6 billion, but Highline is thought to be interested in Oi’s infrastructure assets.
Jasvinder Khaira, a senior managing director at Blackstone, said: “Blackstone is proud to have supported PTB’s rapid growth over the last five years as the company has helped meet Brazil’s increasing wireless infrastructure and connectivity needs.” He paid tribute to PTB’s management team, led by Mauricio Giusti, and its employees, who “have transformed the business into one of Brazil’s leading wireless site providers, and we thank them for their exceptional work and efforts”.