Today, 11:46 AM
- India cellular operator Idea Cellular (OTC:ICLQY) is looking at reducing a debt of 140B rupees ($2.21B) with a sale of its 11,000 cell towers for 75.8B rupees ($1.2B), with three potential buyers: Axiata Group (OTCPK:AXXTF), Bharti Infratel (OTC:BHRYY), and American Tower (NYSE:AMT).
- Idea's towers have been the subject of several deal attempts over the past few years.
- The new talk comes as tower sales heat up worldwide, including Telecom Italia's plans to sell 40% of its Inwit subsidiary, and America Movil's spinoff of its towers unit.
- American Tower closed its $5B tower-site takeover from Verizon in March.
- Previously: Advisers: TI's towers stake could draw €970M (May. 22 2015)
Nov. 24, 2014, 11:27 AM
- American Tower (AMT +0.2%) hasn't disclosed how much it's paying to buy Airtel's Nigerian tower portfolio. Airtel's Nigerian unit will act as the portfolio's anchor tenant, courtesy of a 10-year lease. (PR)
- AMT CEO Jim Taiclet: "With the largest population and economy in Africa and relatively underdeveloped wireless infrastructure, we view Nigeria as a tremendous growth opportunity. Further, we expect this investment to support our long-term objective of generating double-digit AFFO per share growth for our stockholders."
- The agreement comes on the heels of a $1.2B deal to buy 6,480 Brazilian towers from TIM Participacoes.
- Update: AMT discloses in an 8-K it's paying $1.05B for the Nigerian towers.
Nov. 21, 2014, 6:36 PM
- American Tower (NYSE:AMT) is buying 6,480 towers from TIM Participacoes (NYSE:TSU) for R$3B ($1.2B), slightly more than the ~$1.1B previously reported by Reuters. AMT "intends to finance the acquisition in a manner consistent with its previously announced leverage targets."
- The towers are expected to produce R$435M/year ($171M/year) in revenue, and R$191M/year ($75M/year) in gross margin. TIM has agreed to 20-year leases for the towers, and will act as their anchor tenant.
- AMT has already bought Brazilian towers from NII Holdings, and acquired local tower owner BR Towers. The company also bought 666 Brazilian towers in 2011, a transaction Muddy Waters took aim at.
- Altogether, AMT owned/operated 69.5K towers at the end of Q3.
Nov. 21, 2014, 3:48 AM
- Telecom Italia (NYSE:TI) will likely sell the mobile phone towers of its Brazilian unit TIM Participacoes (NYSE:TSU) to American Tower (NYSE:AMT) for almost €900M ($1.1B), says Reuters quoting two sources.
- Yesterday, Telecom Italia was reported to be weighing a deal between TIM and Brazil's Oi (NYSE:OIBR), saying it would ask its board for support today to "explore a potential transaction".
- Previously: Oi, PT rally; Telecom Italia reportedly weighing deal
Sep. 23, 2014, 6:13 PM
- Verizon (NYSE:VZ) has hired boutique i-bank TAP Advisors to find a buyer and work out a lease-back agreement for its 12K wireless towers by year's end, Bloomberg reports. It adds a deal could yield $6B, given how much AT&T received per tower in last year's $4.83B sale/leasing deal with Crown Castle (NYSE:CCI).
- Crown Castle, American Tower (NYSE:AMT), and SBA (NASDAQ:SBAC) have all been buying towers at a heady pace. However, the rising debt loads produced by the purchases could make one or more of the companies respond cautiously to Verizon's move.
- Verizon, for its part, is looking to de-leverage some after raising over $60B in debt to help pay for the Vodafone deal. The carrier had $104.2B in net debt at the end of Q2.
Sep. 3, 2014, 12:59 PM
- With American Tower (AMT -0.7%) up 24% YTD going into day, Morgan Stanley's Simon Flannery now considers shares fairly valued, and is downgrading them to Equal-Weight. His target is at $98.
- AMT is 5 weeks removed from posting a Q2 beat and guidance hike. Flannery still thinks emerging markets (previous) could act as a growth driver for the cell tower owner.
Jun. 16, 2014, 6:58 AM
- BR Towers S.A. owns about 2,530 towers and the exclusive rights to another 2,110, and American Towers (AMT) is buying for about $978M.
- The towers are expected to generate about $131M in annual revenue and roughly $81M in annual gross margin. The deal is expected to be immediately accretive to adjusted FFO upon closing (anticipated in Q4).
- Source: Press Release
May 5, 2014, 3:10 PM
- Globes reports American Tower (AMT +1.6%) is talking with Israel's Cellcom (CEL -0.9%) and Pelephone Communications about buying their mobile sites and leasing them back.
- AMT, which posted a Q1 beat on Thursday, has been on an acquisition binge in recent years. The company agreed to buy giant U.S. cell tower owner Global Tower for $4.8B last year, and also paid $811M to buy and lease back Brazilian/Mexican towers from NII Holdings.
- Thanks to its acquisitions, AMT ended Q1 with $14.3B in debt, a sum offset by just $333M in cash/equivalents.
- Globes notes antitrust regulators have objected to Cellcom and Pelephone's plans to jointly build a 4G network, and that the carriers are looking for other ways to cut costs. The paper reported last month Cellcom is getting set to launch a pay-TV service in August.
Nov. 27, 2013, 1:27 PM
- Bloomberg reports Telecom Italia's (TI +0.2%) Brazilian unit (TSU -0.5%) is partnering with Morgan Stanley to find potential buyers for its 7K mobile towers, and that TI proper is "analyzing internally" how to unload its 12K Italian towers.
- American Tower (AMT -0.2%) is named as a potential bidder for the Brazilian assets, which one source thinks could fetch €700M ($951M).
- The report comes as expectations grow TI will eventually sell TSU, in which it owns a 67% stake, altogether. Major TI shareholder Telefonica wants to see a Brazilian sale, but TI has said there's currently no sales process underway.
- AMT is only two months removed from announcing a $4.8B deal to acquire major U.S. tower owner Global Tower Partners. Before that, the company struck an $811M tower purchase/lease-back agreement with NII Holdings for over 4,400 Brazilian and Mexican towers.
- Muddy Waters has been quite critical of an older Brazilian tower purchase deal carried out by AMT.
Sep. 17, 2013, 12:55 PM
- Bloomberg reports AT&T (T +0.6%) is looking for a buyer for its massive cell tower portfolio in a deal that could be worth $5B.
- American Tower (AMT -0.3%), Crown Castle (CCI +0.1%), and SBA (SBAC) are natural potential suitors for part or all of the portfolio. AMT is fresh off announcing a $4.8B deal to acquire private tower owner Global Tower, whose assets are mostly U.S.-based.
- AT&T has spiked slightly higher on the report. A tower sale would help Ma Bell pay down some of the $75.2B in debt it held at the end of Q2, and thus strengthen its balance sheet as it turns its eyes toward Europe.
- Back in March, RBC speculated AT&T could sell its tower assets for a "mid-$5 billion" or higher price tag.
Sep. 6, 2013, 10:15 AM
- SBA (SBAC +2.1%) and Crown Castle (CCI +3.2%) have joined American Tower (AMT +4.4%) in rallying following news AMT is acquiring giant private cell tower owner Global Tower Partners for $4.8B ($3.3B in cash + the assumption of $1.5B in debt).
- The WSJ reported a month ago Global Tower, controlled by a REIT managed by Macquarie, was being shopped. The company owns 5.4K U.S. towers and 500 Costa Rican sites, and also has management rights to 9K+ U.S. sites (mostly rooftop assets) and property interests in another 800.
- The deal is expected to close in Q4, and will increase the size of AMT's debt load to $10.3B (offset by just $1B in cash/investments). The announcement comes a month after AMT announced an $811M Mexican/Brazilian tower purchase/lease-back deal with NII Holdings (NIHD +1.4%), and 10 months after it reached a deal to buy 2K German cell sites from KPN for $502M. NII has additional tower assets that could be on the block.
- In July, Muddy Waters criticized the accounting behind an earlier Brazilian tower purchase by AMT. The company strongly refuted Muddy Waters' claims.
Sep. 6, 2013, 8:23 AM
- American Tower (AMT) announces it struck a deal to acquire Global Tower Partners through its parent company for $4.8B - consisting of cash and the assumption of debt.
- The company says it sees the deal adding $345M in 2014 revenue and $270M in gross margin to its portfolio and being immediately accretive to the firm's results.
- AMT +3.3% premarket.
Aug. 9, 2013, 1:54 PM
- NII Holdings (NIHD +1.1%) enters into a sale/leaseback agreement with American Tower (AMT +2%). The former will sell 2,790 towers in Brazil and 1,666 towers in Mexico to the latter for $811M and sign a minimum 12-year lease agreement with the option to renew.
- The sale of 4,000 of the towers will close in Q4.
- The transaction will boost NII's liquidity. The Latin American carrier had $5.7B+ in debt on its balance sheet as of June 30, and nearly $1.8B in cash/investments.
- NII will account for the newly-leased towers as capital leases, and expects the transactions to have a positive impact on OIBDA.
- The company has now executed on its two liquidity initiatives (outlined in the Q4 CC). The other initiative, a $700M debt refinancing deal, took place in May.
Aug. 6, 2013, 10:36 PM
- The WSJ reports private cell tower owner Global Tower Partners "is being shopped to larger rivals." Analysts think the company could fetch $4B.
- Global Tower, owned by funds managed by Australian i-bank Macquarie, owns/operates/leases 16K cell sites, 6.4K of which are in the U.S., Mexico, and Costa Rica.
- Publicly-traded tower owners American Tower (AMT - $27.8B market cap), Crown Castle (CCI - $20.5B), and SBA (SBAC - $9.5B) have all shown a willingness to grow their footprints via M&A (I, II, III).
- The recent performance of their shares could make a deal easier to come by. Likewise, the higher valuations being assigned to tower owners (fueled by expectations 4G investments/mobile traffic growth will keep demand strong) could be motivating Macquarie to put Global Tower on sale.
Mar. 14, 2013, 6:01 PMAT&T (T) is indeed thinking of selling cell towers (among other assets), a company spokesman tells Bloomberg. However, the evaluation process is said to be in its early stages. Bloomberg points out some other reasons why AT&T may want to raise cash: growing capex, huge stock buybacks, and a hefty dividend (4.9% yield). AT&T had $69.8B in debt on its balance sheet as of Dec. 30. (RBC report) | Comment!
Mar. 14, 2013, 3:55 PMAT&T (T) might sell wireless tower assets for a "mid-$5 billion" or higher price tag, thinks RBC's Jonathan Atkin. Noting T-Mobile USA and other peers have already sold towers to raise cash, Atkin believes Ma Bell could put ~14.5K towers on sales, and sees American Tower (AMT) as the most likely buyer. His comments come amidst multiple reports (I, II) of AT&T eying foreign investments/acquisitions. | Comment!
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American Tower Corp is an owner, operator and developer of wireless and broadcast communications real estate. The Company's main business is leasing antenna space on multi-tenant communications sites to different providers.
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