Millicom begins moving tower assets to new company

Millicom begins moving tower assets to new company

Millicom International Cellular (MIC), a leading provider of fixed and mobile telecommunication services in Latin America, has signalled the start of plans to transfer its tower assets to its new tower company, Lati.

The company says it expects to launch a monetisation process in the fourth quarter of 2023.

The Data Centre Dynamics website reports that Millicom first announced plans to carve out a tower company back in February 2022, before legal entities were incorporated earlier this year.

The new tower company is expected to cover more than 10,500 cell towers across a  number of countries in Latin America including Guatemala, Honduras, Bolivia, Colombia, Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Paraguay.

Millicom explains on its website: “We built a comprehensive tower infrastructure in Latin America with an eye toward becoming the region's top mobile and fixed broadband provider.

“But,” it adds, “while this infrastructure powers our business, it's also an unrealised gold mine in our markets, where other operators and governments seek to improve digital services without the same degree of capital investment.”

Hence the strategy announced in 2022 to carve out the towers portfolio into an independent business aimed at maximising Millicom’s towers' revenue potential.

By building an independent brand, actively marketing its portfolio to third-party operators and attracting growth capital from new investors, the company believes it can dramatically enhance shareholder return on its digital infrastructure investments.

A key element of this strategy, it says, is to maintain strategic optionality, which will allow Millicom to bring in a financial and strategic partner if needed or fold in other infrastructure assets — such as its 193,000 kilometres of fibre or 12 Tier III data centres — across its footprint.