Thursday, October 10, 2013

Is AT&T Close To Selling Their Towers to Crown Castle?

There was a steady buzz of excitement throughout the PCIA’s 2013 Wireless Infrastructure Show earlier this week, but when Bloomberg reported that AT&T is close to selling towers to Crown Castle the questions and curiosity only increased.

“AT&T, the largest U.S. phone company, is near an agreement to sell its wireless towers to Crown Castle International Corp, people familiar with the matter said,” Bloomberg reported.

While there were no specific details given, AT&T has been looking to sell some of their towers for a few months now. This news broke back in September, but now AT&T may have found the perfect offer.

“People with knowledge of the matter said in September the assets could fetch $5 billion.The sale would bolster AT&T’s balance sheet as it undertakes a $14 billion network upgrade, plans a stock buyback that may top $11 billion, and considers acquisitions in Europe,” according to Bloomberg.

No one from AT&T or Crown Castle was willing to comment on this news so it’s still uncertain whether this deal will be finalized or not. AT&T has about 10,000 towers, which generate about $326 million in annual revenue as other companies pay to lease space on the facilities, according to JPMorgan research analyst Phil Cusick. The towers may contribute cash flow of about $216 million a year, and a sale at 17-times that figure would fetch about $3.7 billion, he said in a note in August. (Source: Bloomberg)

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