American Tower goes on CALA shopping spree

Read this article to learn:

  • Brief summary of American Tower’s deal to acquire 1,400 towers from Tigo in Paraguay
  • Brief summary of American Tower’s deal to acquire 1,200 towers from Tigo in Colombia
  • Retrospective of the six phases of American Tower’s deal to acquire 5,873 towers from TIM Brasil
  • Brief summary of American Tower’s deal to acquire 142 towers from Axtel in Mexico

Since the beginning of the year, American Tower has acquired 2,796 towers in four separate transactions and distinct markets across Central and Latin America. Not to mention the 1,000 urban sites and 2,500km of fibre it added to its portfolio following the acquisition of Argentinian firm CyCSA at the end of 2016. Here is a summary of what the towerco acquired over the past few months and the key characteristics of each deal.


Millicom changed its tower strategy in 2017 and started divesting selected portfolios across South America. What’s left to be seen is whether the trend could be expanded to other countries or these will remain two isolated cases.

With regards to the Paraguayan deal, Mauricio Ramos, CEO of Millicom, said: “This agreement is consistent with our strategic goal of a two-fold reconfiguration of our business, rapidly growing our mobile data and cable revenue in Latin America, and pushing ahead with major initiatives to enhance our operational and capital efficiency. We are pleased that Tigo Paraguay will be able to rely on the strong operational credentials of American Tower, the largest tower operator in Latin America.”

Seller: Tigo

When: April 2017

What: 1,400 towers

How much: US$125mn – US$89,285 per tower

Type: SLB


Just a couple of months later, Millicom sealed another deal with American Tower in Colombia, and Mauricio Ramos was once again quoted saying: “Colombia is our biggest operation in Latin America, where we have a strong focus on remaining competitive by bringing advanced infrastructure and services to our customers. Similar to the Paraguay transaction that we announced in April, this new agreement with American Tower Corporation enhances our operational and capital efficiency, while also allowing us to invest in improving the connectivity experience for our customers. The lease obligation is denominated in Colombian pesos, consistent with our objective of increasing our proportion of financing in local currency.”

Seller: Tigo

When: July 2017

What: 1,200 towers

How much: US$147mn – US$122,500 per tower

Type: SLB

AMT’s CALA tower portfolio breakdown if announced deals close


During the same month, American Tower finalised the last transaction with TIM Brasil, which concluded the transfer of 5,873 towers for US$802.6mn against the 6,480 sites initially suggested and a deal value of US$1.2bn first announced in November 2014. Here is a summary of all the tranches of the TIM Brasil – American Tower deal:

1st tranche – November 2014: 4,176 towers

2nd tranche – October 2015: 1,125 towers

3rd tranche – December 2015: 182 towers

4th tranche – June 2016: 270 towers

5th tranche – December 2016: 66 towers

6th tranche – July 2017: 54 towers

Seller: TIM

When: Nov 2014-Jul 2017

What: 5,873 towers

How much: US$802.6mn – US$136,659 per tower

Type: SLB


The most recent deal American Tower sealed in CALA has been with Axtel. This transaction is the second between the two companies after the 2013 deal which saw the sale of 883 towers for US$250mn. Back then, American Tower paid quite a premium for the sites at US$283K per tower. But the 2017 deal is notably one of the most expensive TowerXchange has seen in CALA, with a price per tower around US$394K, possibly linked to the scarcity of tower portfolios remaining for sale in Mexico.

Seller: Axtel

When: July 2017

What: 142 towers

How much: US$56mn – US$394,366 per tower

Type: SLB


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