Irish operator eir agreed the sale of its mobile infrastructure arm to Phoenix Tower International for €300 million, a move it said will free up capital to boost mobile network coverage across the country.

In a statement, Carolan Lennon, eir CEO, said the sale will enable the operator to accelerate 4G and 5G network rollouts, boost the company’s capacity to invest in its mobile network, and deliver more efficiency to “further increase geographic coverage.”

Phoenix Tower International will acquire 100 per cent of the shares in eir’s mobile tower company Emerald Tower, which has a portfolio of 650 tower sites.

The deal is expected to close mid-year, in which Iliad-owned eir and Phoenix Tower International will enter a long-term agreement to provide hosting services over the infrastructure and construct new sites. The operator will be given occupancy of the sites for at least 20 years, said Phoenix Tower International.

US-based Phoenix Tower International said the deal positions it as the largest tower infrastructure provider in Ireland, and will increase its global tower portfolio to 9,000.

In March, French operator Bouygues Telecom also announced plans to form a joint venture with the US tower company.