Collate has announced that InfraVia Capital Partners (InfraVia), a French investment fund, has agreed to purchase its portfolio of telecommunications assets for an undisclosed sum.

The portfolio consists of approximately 300 telecommunications masts and equipment locations across Coillte’s estate. A number of the masts were built by Coillte in recent years and certain locations include optical fibre connectivity.

Ireland’s mobile network operators are the primary customers of the portfolio.

A new Irish-based company which shall trade as “Cignal” has been formed to own and manage the business. Cignal will be chaired by Donal O’Shaughnessy.

Commenting on the transaction Fergal Leamy, Chief Executive of Coillte, said Coillte’s core business is forestry and it is Coillte’s ambition to maximise the economic and social value of each hectare it manages.

“The transaction we are announcing is an outstanding example of the value we can create from an innovative and strategic approach to managing our estate. From a few hundred remote hilltops we have created a business with real value.

“This transaction will strengthen our balance sheet and support our plans to invest €59m in our SmartPly facility in Waterford Port and further investment in our windfarm portfolio in the coming years.”

While sites at 298 locations are included in the sale the total area of land associated with these sites is less than 15 hectares and Coillte has assured the public that access to its forests for recreation use will be unaffected by the sale of this telecoms portfolio.

The portfolio of towers is spread across 298 locations nationwide. This sale represents approximately 16% of the towers actively supporting commercial communications in the Irish market.

Collate employs approximately 1,000 people and was established in 1988. It owns over 445,000 hectares of land, about 7% of the land cover of Ireland.