IHS Towers today announced it has acquired Centennial Towers’ 819 towers in Brazil and Colombia. Specifically, this acquisition includes Centennial Towers’ 602 towers in Brazil and 217 towers in Colombia. However, it does not incorporate Centennial Towers’ 750+ towers in Mexico.
Centennial Towers – Overview
Centennial Towers leases its 602 towers in Brazil, in-part, to Claro (owned by América Móvil) and Vivo (Telefônica Brasil). Additionally, the company leases its 217 towers in Colombia, in-part, to Tigo (owned by Millicom Corporation).
Centennial Towers was founded in 2007 by the Bettsak family, which invests through Breslau Capital, and is the controlling shareholder of the company. Additionally, Madison Dearborn Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm, invested in Centennial Towers in June 2014, through its Growth Equity strategy.
IHS Towers – Portfolio Including Centennial Towers
At year-end 2020, IHS Towers’ total portfolio comprised 27.8k owned and managed towers. Therefore, following the completion of the Centennial Towers acquisition, IHS Towers’ total portfolio will grow to 28.6k owned and managed towers.
Overall, the company’s top five markets by tower count will be Nigeria (16.5k towers), Brazil (2.9k towers), Côte d’Ivoire (2.7k towers), Cameroon (2.2k towers), and Zambia (1.8k towers). Notably, IHS Towers had a de minimis presence in Colombia prior to the acquisition of Centennial Towers’ sites.
IHS Holding – Brazil Expansion
IHS Towers’ parent company, IHS Holding, has been rapidly expanding its digital infrastructure portfolio in Brazil. This expansion effort includes two recent M&A announcements in the country: Skysites Holdings and TIM SA’s FiberCo.
Firstly, IHS Towers’ acquisition of Centennial Towers closely follows its purchase of Skysites Holdings, in January 2021. Specifically, Skysites is a provider of small cells and urban telecommunications infrastructure in Brazil, owning 1.0k sites.
Notably, Centennial Towers has also built small cells and distributed antenna systems (DAS) in Brazil. Indeed, this will complement the Skysites business and provide IHS Towers with additional mobile infrastructure scale in the country.
FiberCo Soluções de Infraestrutura Ltda (FiberCo)
Secondly, in March 2021, IHS Brasil Participações Ltda (IHS) entered into an exclusivity agreement with TIM SA, a wireless carrier in Brazil, to acquire an equity interest in the company’s fiber broadband business, known as FiberCo.
FiberCo will accelerate TIM SA’s fiber infrastructure coverage, which in turn, will grow its residential broadband business. By 2022, the company intends to pass 5.5 million homes with fiber, a 72% increase from current levels.