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.
Jun. 25, 2014, 10:14 AM
- Continuing the tower industry's massive acquisition spree, SBA (SBAC +1.1%) is buying another 1,641 sites from Brazilian carrier Oi (OIBR +1.4%) for R$1.17B ($527M).
- The deal will be funded with both existing cash and a revolver facility, and is expected to close by year's end. The sites are expected to contribute R$125.7M in cash leasing revenue and R$74.2M in tower cash flow in 2015.
- In March, SBA closed a deal to buy 2,007 sites from Oi for $645M, and last November, it bought use rights for 2,113 sites from the carrier for $321M.
- Last week, rival American Tower announced it's buying 2,530 Brazilian towers, along with use rights for another 2,110, for $978M. In 2013, In 2013, AMT bought NII Holding's Brazilian sites for $811M.
- SBA had $6.5B in net debt at the end of Q1. It recently announced it's selling another $750M in debt, partly to refinance.
- Oi has been hungry to pare its massive debt load ($13.7B in net debt at the end of Q1) ahead of its merger with Portugal Telecom (PT +2.7%). The company launched a major stock offering in April.
Dec. 4, 2013, 7:56 AM
- SBA Communications (SBAC) announces an expansion of operations in Brazil with the acquisition of 2,007 additional wireless sites for ~$645M at current exchange rates.
- Oi SA (OIBR), one of Brazil's largest telecommunications service providers, and its affiliates, will enter into a long-term lease with SBA for antenna space on each of the sites.
- SBA expects the sites will contribute ~R$110M of cash leasing revenue and R$70M of tower cash flow to results during 2014, and anticipates the transaction will be immediately accretive to AFFO/share.
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.
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.
Jun. 26, 2012, 7:49 AM
SBAC vs. ETF Alternatives
SBA Communications Corporation is an independent owner & operator of wireless communications tower structures, rooftops & other structures that support antennas for communication. Its business segments aresite leasing and site development.
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