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.

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.