Blackstone-backed PTI buys €300m telecom infrastructure from eir

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Blackstone-backed Phoenix Tower International (PTI) has entered the Irish wireless infrastructure market with the acquisition of a €300m portfolio from Irish telecom group eir.

Phoenix is buying Emerald Tower, which owns over 650 wireless towers and has agreed to also acquire newly constructed wireless towers over 8 years across Ireland through a build-to-suit programme.

Phoenix said the duo have set up a long-term partnership whereby eir will occupy the sites for at least twenty years.

Dagan Kasavana, CEO of Phoenix Tower International, said: “We are excited to enter the Irish wireless infrastructure market and partner with eir on such an important transaction.

“The global pandemic related to COVID-19 has impacted all of our communities and highlights the importance of wireless infrastructure to support global trade, commerce and social connections. This will not diminish as economies rebound in the coming months and years ahead.”

Tim Culver, executive chairman of Phoenix Tower International, said: “Ireland represents an important economic hub for Europe and the world and we are proud to support eir on their ongoing build-outs across the country.

“This transaction further expands PTI’s global footprint and we are excited to be a long-term partner of eir.”

In February this year, Blackstone Tactical Opportunities, Blackstone’s opportunistic investment platform raised $1.4bn (€1.3bn) for wireless tower operator PTI.

Jasvinder Khaira, a senior managing director in Blackstone Tactical Opportunities, said this transaction exemplifies Phoenix’s strategy of entering into growth markets as a partner to top-tier wireless carriers.

“Phoenix is committed to growing in Europe and finding opportunities to support carriers and usher in the 5G technology revolution.”

Carolan Lennon, eir’s CEO, said: “This transaction allows us to accelerate the roll-out of our expanded 4G and 5G networks and increases eir’s capacity to further invest in our mobile network.

“It will help us deliver the best mobile experience for all our customers across Ireland, enabling more efficient infrastructure roll-out in the future to further increase geographic coverage.”