Jones Day and Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton are lead advisers on the $125 million cash deal in which Telefonica Celular del Paraguay S.A., a Millicom International Cellular subsidiary, is selling 1,400 wireless communication towers to a subsidiary of American Tower Corp. (ATC) , the largest tower operator in Latin America.
Jones Day is representing Millicom and Kilpatrick is representing ATC in the transaction, which will have multiple closings.
The Millicom subsidiary, also known as Tigo Paraguay, has contracted to lease the towers from ATC in local currency to support Tigo Paraguay’s wireless networks and rollout plans. American Tower Corp. will lease use of the tower to other cellular companies as well. The sale saved both capital and overhead for Tigo Paraguay as it joins the international trend of telecommunications companies selling and leasing back use of their cell towers under long-term lease agreements.
Millicom is an international telecommunications and media company headquartered in Luxembourg, but its CEO Mauricio Ramos and its Latin American operations executive team are based in Coral Gables, Florida. Millicom employs more than 17,000 people throughout Latin America and Africa.
“By selling the tower, they leverage some of their assets,” said Jones Day Miami Partner Nicholas Rodríguez. “They are paying for the use of the towers, but it’s done over the course of years. It’s a way of financing their current operations. Tower companies look at it as an opportunity to develop a market.”
Another Millicom subsidiary in Colombia, Colombia Movil S.A., is making a similar sale of 1,200 towers to ATC for $147.9 million. Jones Day’s Paris office is representing Colombia Movil in that deal, along with local counsel Brigard & Urrutia in Bogota. ATC is represented by Wasserman West and local counsel Gomez-Pinzon Zuleta Abogados.
In the Paraguay deal, the ATC legal team was led by Kilpatrick partner Richard Cicchillo Jr. in Atlanta and assisted by associate Edgar Callaway.
The legal team for Millicom International Cellular was led by Karen Salas-Morales, assistant general counsel and head of legal for Latin America at Millicom. The Jones Day team was led by partners Nicholas Rodríguez in Miami and Stephen Angus in New York and included partners Rémy Fekete in Paris, Stephen P. Parrinello in New York, Fradyn Suarez and Enrique Martin in Miami and associates Luis A. Velez, Jessica Mendoza and Isel M. Perez in Miami, and Marta Lahuerta Escolano in Paris.