By J. Sharpe Smith
Digital Bridge, headed by Marc Ganzi, and Macquarie Mexican Infrastructure Fund (MMIF) agreed to merge their cell tower portfolios last week to create Mexico Tower Partners (MTP), which will manage more than 600 towers and is one of Mexico’s largest independent telecom tower businesses.
Digital Bridge paid $45 million to buy out the interests of Macquarie USA and other shareholders.
“Our goal is to deploy all $130 million of the equity that we raised,” Ganzi said. “We see tremendous amounts of opportunities in Mexico. Going forward, Macquarie Mexico will continue to put in incremental capital and, of course, we will support the business with capital, our management team and our knowhow.”
MMIF’s tower business was formed in October 2011 when MMIF and Global Tower Partners acquired a portfolio of 199 towers in Mexico from Telefonica. GTP was sold to American Tower in September 2013 and its Mexican towers were carved out of that transaction.
“It was a great seven year run with Macquarie in the United States and we are looking forward to another five-year run [in Mexico],” Ganzi said. “We look at Macquarie as a global partner and there are opportunities in other parts of the world that we are looking at with them.”
Mexico Tower Partners will be led by Jose Sola as CEO, who was formerly head in corporate development in Latin America for GTP, and other former members of GTP’s Latin America team. Ganzi sees the building blocks of growth in the Mexican market.
“We’ve got a great business plan. It is well capitalized. We see that business growing from 600 towers to 2,000 towers in the next three years,” he said. “It is a high-growth market that is going through deregulation, similar to the way we deregulated with the Telecom Act of 1996. There is a lot of promise for the Mexican consumer, because 4G has not even been built there yet.”