Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Indosat Ooredoo sells more towers, raising $750 million

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Tuesday 30 March 21

The company announced that it would be selling 4,200 towers to infrastructure investor EdgePoint

Over the past year, numerous operators around the world have been offloading their mobile tower infrastructure in exchange for quick cash, with investors desire for infrastructure proving seemingly insatiable. Now, Indosat Ooredoo is the latest in a long line of telcos to announce the sale and leaseback of a portion of their mobile towers to EdgePoint…

Over the past year, numerous operators around the world have been offloading their mobile tower infrastructure in exchange for quick cash, with investors desire for infrastructure proving seemingly insatiable.

Now, Indosat Ooredoo is the latest in a long line of telcos to announce the sale and leaseback of a portion of their mobile towers to EdgePoint, selling around 4,200 of them for $750 million following a tender process.

EdgePoint is a subsidiary wholly owned by Digital Colony, a global digital infrastructure investor that already owns FreshWave, Highline do Brasil and 50% of Zayo. Back in November, EdgePoint said it had plans to invest up to $1 billion in infrastructure over the next five to seven years, aiming to purchase between 20,000 and 50,000 towers, with this batch from Indosat seemingly the start of that investment.

According to Indosat, the boost in cash will be used to improve its network performance and launch new digital services. The move represents the continuation of an ongoing strategy from Indosat to try and monetise its assets effectively; the company first sold around 3,100 mobile towers to Mitratel and Protelindo back in 2019, raising $450 million.

“The deal marks the third and final sale of assets from Indosat Ooredoo’s tower portfolio that moves us towards a more asset-light model and focus on delivering outstanding mobile digital services to our customers,” explained Ahmad Al-Neama, chief executive officer of Indosat Ooredoo.

The deal is subject to normal considerations, such as shareholder approval, and is expected to close in the first half of this year.

For Digital Colony, this purchase will be the second major deal it has brokered this month, earlier spending around $854 million on US retail WiFi networks and services specialist Boingo Wireless.

Meanwhile, Indosat is potentially set to undergo even more upheaval in the coming months, with a potential merger with CK Hutchison’s PT Hutchison 3 currently being discussed. The move would give Indosat around a 30% market share – perhaps not enough to take on the dominance of Telkomsel in the Indonesian market, but nonetheless enough to give the company a larger base from which to effectively launch 5G.

 

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