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June 17 (Reuters) - A Macquarie Group Ltd infrastructure fund is in talks to acquire Brazilian mobile-phone tower operator Grupo TorreSur for more than $1 billion, including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.
TorreSur's owner, private equity firm Providence Equity Partners LLC, received interest from potential buyers last summer but chose to hold off on a sale. It has now launched a sale process after receiving interest from Macquarie and others, including American Tower Corp, the people said this week.
The sources, who did not want to be named because the matter is private, cautioned that it remained uncertain whether Macquarie or another bidder would manage to clinch a deal for TorreSur.
Spokesmen for Providence Equity, Macquarie and American Tower declined to comment, while a representative from TorreSur did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Grupo TorreSur, which was formed in 2010, owns and operates more than 6,000 wireless towers in Brazil. Tower companies generate revenue from leases from their tenants, which are wireless carriers.
Macquarie, Australia's top investment bank, is no stranger to investments into telecom infrastructrure. Last month it led a group of investors in the acquisition of Crown Castle International Corp's Australian tower portfolio for $1.6 billion.
Through investments in tower assets, Macquarie is sticking with its strategy of investing in relatively low-risk, annuities-style assets with stable returns. (Reporting by Liana B. Baker in New York; Editing by Alan Crosby)