- Actis-led consortium has acquired a newly carved-out tower portfolio from Telekom Srbija, a leading telecommunications operator in the CEE region.
- The carve-out includes substantially all of Telekom Srbija’s macro tower portfolio across Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Montenegro.
- This is Actis’ first transaction in the Western Balkans, with the establishment of the first truly independent telecom tower group headquartered in the region.
LONDON, 22 January 2024: An Actis-led consortium has acquired the macro tower portfolio of Telekom Srbija, a leading telecommunications operator in the CEE region, across Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro. The carved-out portfolio is comprised of approximately 1.8k macro towers (of which c. 1.0k in Serbia, c.0.7k in Bosnia & Herzegovina, c. 0.1k in Montenegro) and is well placed for further commercialisation and expansion. As part of the transaction, an independent tower company has been established, fully controlled by Actis, which has entered into a long-term master services agreement (MSA) with Telekom Srbija as the tower company’s anchor tenant and important partner for future growth; the MSA contemplates build-to-suit (BTS) commitments to further expand the platform’s reach and to accommodate new telecommunications technologies that will be rolled out in the region.
This landmark investment for digital infrastructure in the region is Actis’ eighth investment in the digital infrastructure space, with well over US$1 billion currently committed in the sector, and is intended to be its cornerstone platform investment for towers in the region.
The Towers market in the CEE and Western Balkans region is forecast to expand significantly over the coming years, driven by the increasing consumer demand for mobile data, the rollout of new technologies such as 5G and 6G, as well as changing mobile capacity and coverage requirements. Independent tower companies have a significant role to play in efficiently investing in, improving, and mutualising passive infrastructure to support mobile growth and overall development of local economies.
Jaroslava Korpanec, Partner and Head of Central and Eastern Europe at Actis, commented, “We are very proud to lead this groundbreaking investment, marking the first transaction of its type in the Balkans. This investment strengthens Actis’ strategic decision to expand its strategy into the CEE region following on investments made in 2022 in the energy sector in Romania and Bulgaria. We look forward to a long-term relationship with Telekom Srbija in developing a first-class tower portfolio in the region.”
David Morley, Partner, Vice Chairman at Actis, commented, “Actis continues to develop a track-record in digital infrastructure, a sector where we see significant potential for future growth in our portfolio. We are excited to deploy capital in the CEE region, where Actis has committed to deploy more capital in the future.”
Actis was advised by BNP Paribas (sole financial advisor) and White & Case, CMS and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett (legal advisors) on this transaction.