Blackstone Is Said to Buy Altice Towers in Dominican Republic

(Bloomberg) -- A Blackstone Group LP affiliate has agreed to buy Altice Europe NV’s telecommunications towers in the Dominican Republic, according to people familiar with the matter.

The transaction, which may be announced as soon as Friday, values the business at about $170 million, said one of the people, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The purchase is being made through Phoenix Tower International, majority-owned by Blackstone’s tactical opportunities arm.

Seeking to slash its debt load, Altice is already set to reap $2.9 billion after last month agreeing to sell French towers to KKR & Co. and Portuguese towers to a group including Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners.

Founded in 2013 and based in Boca Raton, Florida, Phoenix owns wireless communication towers and sites in the Caribbean, Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, French West Indies, Colombia, Peru and the U.S. including Puerto Rico, according to its website.

The Dominican Republic deal, which involves 1,050 sites, comes amid a shift to 4G technology in the country and increasing demand for the services. Future growth could come from other carriers agreeing to use towers that will continue to service Altice.

A Blackstone representative declined to comment, while representatives for Altice and Phoenix didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment outside of business hours.

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