On June 20, 2020, Phoenix Tower International– a wireless infrastructure provider that manages a portfolio of over 9,000 towers across the world, along with 80,000 other telecoms sites across 14 countries- has offered to buy El Towers for $615 million (550 million euros) according to Reuters. The largest private US-based wireless infrastructure group has entered into exclusive talks with El Towers, states India times.
Founded in 1999, EI Tower is an Italian independent leader in the operation of infrastructures used in radio and television broadcasting and in delivering telecommunications services. In 2019, El Tower EBITDA (Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) was Euro 140 million according to the company’s website.
EI Towers is 60% owned by Italy’s F2I infrastructure fund and 40% owned by Italy’s biggest commercial broadcaster Mediaset. In 2018, F2I and Mediaset collaborated to make a $1.89 billion bid for tower company El Towers. After that bidding, Mediaset said in a statement that El Towers will acquire the role of an independent operator. This status will allow the company to participate more effectively in the process of consolidation in the broadcasting and telephone towers business.
The company owns and operates a portfolio of roughly 1,000 telecoms towers across Italy. By the end of 2019, EIT derived around 75% of its revenues from broadcast TV with the rest from telecoms towers and other sources such as radio and Internet of Things according to Fitch Ratings.
This deal will make Phoenix Tower International (PTI) the leading wireless infrastructure provider in Europe. Founded in 2013 with a mission to be a premier site provider to wireless operators across high-growth international markets, PTI is now working on expanding its services across Europe. According to the company’s website, On March 20, 2020, Phoenix closed an agreement with Bouygues Telecom to own and operate up to 4000 sites Across France. On May 25, 2020, the company announced the signing of an agreement with eir- the largest provider of fixed-line telecommunications services in Ireland- to purchase over 650 wireless towers and acquire newly constructed wireless towers over 8 years across the country.
Phoenix offer will promote more efficient development of this sector in Italy. However, F2I and Phoenix have not yet commented on the bidding offer. In addition, the bidder has not published any statement on their website.