Phoenix plots further growth with West Indies tower deal

Phoenix Tower International took a further step in its growth strategy with the announcement that it intends to buy towers from Altice-owned Outremer Telecom in the French West Indies.

Phoenix said it entered into an exclusivity agreement with Outremer Telecom regarding the acquisition of 203 wireless towers, together with newly constructed wireless towers over ten years across the French West Indies through a build-to-suit program.

Outremer Telecom, which was acquired by Altice in 2013 and now operates under the SFR brand, would occupy the sites for at least 20 years.

From the ashes: Phoenix Tower has been on a shopping spree since 2020.  (Source: Pixabay)
From the ashes: Phoenix Tower has been on a shopping spree since 2020.
(Source: Pixabay)

Phoenix, through its subsidiaries, now owns and operates over 14,000 towers, 986 km of fiber and over 80,000 other wireless infrastructure and related sites throughout Europe, the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Investors include funds managed by Blackstone Tactical Opportunities and John Hancock, as well as various members of the management team.

Towering growth

While perhaps less acquisitive than Spain-based Cellnex, the towerco has been ramping up its activities in recent months. In 2020, the towerco made its first inroads into Europe, announcing deals in France and Ireland. It then bought TowerTel in Italy in December 2020.

In July this year, it reached an agreement with Monaco Telecom to buy 830 wireless towers and acquire newly constructed wireless towers over six years in Malta and Cyprus. Monaco Telecom is majority-owned by French entrepreneur Xavier Niel via his investment unit NJJ Capital.

In an interview with TowerXchange in April, Tim Culver, executive chairman of Phoenix, said the towerco only likes to pursue transactions where it can have a differentiated growth strategy.

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In Italy, for example, he noted that Cellnex and Inwit have achieved strong market positions by partnering with certain carriers in the market. Phoenix "had the ability to acquire a tower platform, TowerTel, from EI Towers and all the MNOs were already doing business with them," he said.

Dagan Kasavana, CEO of Phoenix, indicated at the time that further deals are ahead in Europe and the Americas.

"The market will reward us if we stay focused on the customers’ needs. So, we will stay focused on finding these types of similar opportunities as well as larger markets where we feel we have a unique business plan and edge versus other players in the market," he said.

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— Anne Morris, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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