Equity International invested US$50m in Digital Bridge’s telecommunications company Andean Tower Partners (ATP), which has operations in Colombia and Peru, alongside other investors including The Olayan Group and TC Latin American Partners.
(Press Release) Equity International (“EI”), the emerging markets-focused investment firm founded by Sam Zell, announced today that it has closed on its first investment in telecommunication infrastructure. EI invested US$50m in Digital Bridge’s Andean Tower Partners (ATP), alongside other institutional investors including The Olayan Group and TC Latin America Partners. In aggregate the partnership’s capital raise totaled US$150m. ATP owns and operates passive telecom infrastructure solutions through towers, rooftops, small cells, and DAS (distributed antenna systems) that enable mobile connectivity in the Andean region. Proceeds will be used to support ATP’s growth in developing mobile and internet infrastructure deployment primarily in Colombia and Peru.
Sam Zell, founder and chairman of EI commented, “In the telecom sector, the emerging markets look a lot like the U.S. did 15 years ago. Demand for mobile and internet service has overwhelmed supply. We see this as a terrific opportunity to apply our ability to institutionalize companies to an asset class that expands the traditional definition of real estate. We’re pleased to be doing it with a leading player in the space and exceptionally strong partners.”
“We have been targeting the telecommunications infrastructure sector in the region for some time due to highly undersupplied demand for broadband services,” said Tom Heneghan, EI’s CEO. “We found the optimal partner and opportunity with Digital Bridge. The company’s strong sponsorship aligns our mutual interests, and its attractive pipeline provides us with the ability to quickly scale the business. We look forward to supporting our new partner in this endeavor.”
ATP was founded by the leadership team at Digital Bridge, a leading owner and operator of mobile and internet infrastructure globally with an extensive two-decade proven track record in the sector in the United States, Mexico, Colombia and Peru. Digital Bridge previously founded and capitalized Mexico Tower Partners in 2013 and Vertical Bridge in 2014. In February 2017, the company closed on an US$80m investment agreement with ISA.
“We are extremely delighted with the success of ATP’s first institutional capital raise, which is anchored by experienced and very knowledgeable investors in the sector. With partners such as Equity International, The Olayan Group, and TC Latin America Partners, ATP will continue its expansion and strategic goal to become the leading telecom infrastructure provider in the Andean region,” said Marc C. Ganzi, ATP’s Chairman.
Gregorio Schneider, Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer at TC Latin America Partners, explains, “As the penetration of smartphones increases in the Andean region, investment in cellular towers is key to meeting growing data consumption needs. As part of our real estate investment strategy, we are excited to partner with Digital Bridge in this opportunity, and believe in ATP’s growth plans to fill this gap in the region.”