American Tower Corporation today announced that it has been the successful suitor in acquiring the rights to approximately 11,324 wireless communications towers and purchase approximately 165 additional towers from Verizon Communications, Inc. for $5.056 billion.
Under the agreement, American Tower will have the exclusive right to lease and operate the Verizon towers for a weighted average term of approximately 28 years. In addition, American Tower will have fixed price purchase options to acquire the towers based on their anticipated fair market values at the end of the lease terms.
Verizon shares rose as much as 1.1 percent to $48.41 in late trading, and American Tower added less than 1 percent in late trading in New York.
Deal struck for $1,900 per month rent
Verizon has contracted to sublease space on the towers for a minimum of 10 years with monthly rent of $1,900 per site and fixed annual rent escalators of 2%. Verizon will have customary renewal options that could potentially extend the full term of its sublease to 50 years.
Verizon will also have access to certain additional space on the towers for its future use, subject to certain restrictions. American Tower will have the right to sublease other available capacity on the towers to additional tenants, according to a statement from American Tower.
The average term of the lease rights is about 28 years. As the leases expire, American Tower will have fixed-price purchase options to acquire these towers based on their anticipated fair market values at the end of the lease terms.
Jim Taiclet, American Tower’s Chief Executive Officer stated, “The Verizon tower portfolio is a unique asset. Due to outstanding design and management by the Verizon Wireless network operations team, the portfolio boasts a number of key attributes that we believe will facilitate robust leasing opportunities under our focused management.”
These attributes include average tower heights approaching 200 feet, ample structural capacity and ground space, very attractive transmission locations with relatively few competing sites, a solid ground lease profile, and excellent documentation and technical information.”
Although Taiclet said Verizon’s tower portfolio, in combination with American Tower’s legacy footprint, will establish the largest wireless communications real estate portfolio in the United States with over 40,000 tower sites, Crown Castle International is almost equal to them with their published 40,000 tower count.
Verizon was advised by TAP Advisors, Guggenheim and JP Morgan.