By Amy-Jo Crowley and Andres Gonzalez
LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. wireless tower operator SBA Communications Corp, Blackstone-backed Phoenix Tower and Spanish fund Asterion Industrial Partners are vying for Cellnex's Irish unit, according to five sources familiar with the matter.
Mobile phone tower operator Cellnex is advised by Santander and Barclays on the deal and binding offers from the three parties are expected next week, three of the sources added, speaking on condition of anonymity.
A deal would value Cellnex's Irish unit, which manages almost 2,000 sites in the country, close to 1 billion euros ($1.08 billion), the fourth person said.
Cellnex declined to comment.
The Spanish company, which has expanded via acquisitions since its initial public offering in 2015, pivoted in 2022 to concentrate on debt reduction by exiting non-core markets with the objective of achieving an investment grade credit rating in 2024.
The company sold 49% of its Nordic arm to infrastructure fund Stonepeak last year for 730 million euros and it is working with advisors to divest its Polish and Austrian units.
Cellnex will update its strategy and outlook to investors on its Capital Markets Day on March 5.
($1 = 0.9288 euros)
(Reporting by Amy-Jo Crowley and Andres Gonzalez in London; Editing by Anousha Sakoui and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)