By Luis García
The New York firm is one of four co-investors in a pool raised by Digital Bridge to bolster the expansion efforts of the wireless communications infrastructure company.
Private-equity firm TC Latin America Partners is one of four co-investors in a $230 million pool raised by Digital Bridge Holdings LLC to bolster the expansion efforts of a wireless communication infrastructure company.
The business, Andean Tower Partners LLC, was founded in 2015 by Digital Bridge, a Boca Raton, Fla., firm that backs telecommunication infrastructure companies.
Andean Towers Partners, also of Boca Raton, operates in Colombia and Peru, where it owns and manages telecommunications towers, rooftops, small cells and distributed antenna systems that support the networks of local mobile operators, according to a press release.
The Latin America and Caribbean region will add an estimated 110 million new unique mobile subscribers by 2020 to the 414.4 million current subscribers as of the fourth quarter of 2015, according to the report from mobile industry data tracker GSMA Intelligence. Colombia and Peru are expected to be the third and fourth largest contributors to that growth, behind Brazil and Mexico, according to the report.
At the same time, companies such as Andean Towers also should benefit from new regulations in Colombia and Peru aimed at making it easier to deploy telecommunications infrastructure.
Andean Tower will use the money to acquire and build more of that infrastructure, as it tries to take advantage of growing demand for mobile connectivity and data consumption in the two Andean countries, according to the release.
“We see Peru and Colombia as a great opportunity right now,” said Gregorio Schneider, TC Latin America’s founder, managing partner and chief investment officer. He added that continued political stability and rapid economic growth, particularly in Peru, have contributed to a more favorable investments environment.
Formerly known as Terranum Capital, TC Latin America Partners focuses on real-estate investments in Colombia, Mexico and Peru. The firm concentrates on real-estate projects that capitalize on the growing middle class in the three countries, particularly residential and mixed-use properties in bigger cities such as Mexico City and Querétaro, Mexico, and Bogotá and Medellin in Colombia, Mr. Schneider said.
The firm – with offices in New York, Bogotá, Lima and Mexico City – closed its second fund, Terranum Capital Latin America Real Estate Fund II LP, in early December at $268 million. Apart from Andean Tower, it has invested about $60 million of the total in six real-estate projects, including three in Peru, two in Mexico and one in Colombia, according to Mr. Schneider.
Mr. Schneider pointed to the similarities between the telecommunications-infrastructure and the commercial-real-estate sectors, as mobile carriers also rent space in cell towers to install their equipment.
“It’s like renting space in a building” he said.
The three other co-investors in the Digital Bridge-sponsored pool for Andean Tower are Colombian state-owned holding company Interconexión Eléctrica SA ESP ISA; the Olayan Group, a global investor Sam Zell’s investments firm focused on emerging markets, the press stated. ISA agreed in late February to ivest up to $80 million in Andean Tower, according to a press release issued at the time.
Founded in 2013, Digital Bridge so far has collected more than $5.2 billion in debt and equity capital and invested across the telecommunications infrastructure sector. They include Andean Tower. U.S.-focused Vertical Bridge LLC; and Mexico Tower Partners LLC, a cell-tower builder operating in Mexico.
Source: WSJ PRO – Private Equity