Everest Infrastructure Partners, Inc. (“Everest”) and TowerCo (“TowerCo”) have jointly revealed the acquisition of 546 wireless towers for an undisclosed amount from Charter Communications, Inc. (“Charter”) to be completed over multiple closings starting this month.
The wireless tower assets included in this transaction are located in 37 states throughout the U.S. and collectively represent one of the more significant portfolio transactions of tower assets in the U.S. during the past ten years.
The distribution of these tower assets between Everest and TowerCo might be announced next month. Having both parties acquire the assets allows for a strategic selection of locations that complement their existing portfolios without duplicating structures.
Earlier this month CTI Towers acquired 525 towers in five states from Conterra Ultra Broadband Holdings. The structures are located across Louisiana, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, and California.
In the most recent deal, in addition to financial value for the sale of towers, Charter will receive existing and future tower-use rights across the nationwide tower portfolios of Everest and TowerCo. Charter will also continue to serve as the Preferred Fiber Provider to applicable tower sites included in the transaction.
A spokesperson for TowerCo informed Wireless Estimator that they currently own 850 towers, and 386 under development.
It is difficult to identify the number of Charter towers that were acquired in each state since the FCC’s database is inconclusive, with Charter Communications currently showing only 94 structures, including those under 200 feet. In addition, all of them have been dismantled or terminated.
Spectrum shows 295 constructed structures, and Time Warner, according to the FCC, has 153 structures listed, but all of them have been dismantled or terminated.
Charter did not respond to requests for additional information and TowerCo and Everest are constrained from commenting on the acquisition.
In 2000, Charter announced an agreement had been reached with KGI to market its more than 1,200 towers. Although KGI no longer represents Charter’s inventory, it is still being determined as to what happened to the 654 towers if Charter only had 546 towers for sale since there are no known cattle car sales by Charter since then.
Industry observers believe that at least 400 or more of Charter’s towers were not valuable properties and were dismantled. The current structures are mostly cable company towers, with some being more valuable because they were constructed during times when it was easier to obtain permits in key locations.
It isn’t easy to assess what Charter’s towers might have sold for. Charter did not did not file an SEC notification of the sale.
The value of tower assets in the U.S. may be declining from 2022 levels, according to DigitalBridge CEO Marc Ganzi who said in November that there hasn’t been a material big “M&A trade in the space to identify pricing.” according to Seeking Alpha.
“Both Everest and TowerCo are incredibly pleased to have been selected by Charter for this transaction,” said Mike Mackey,” President of Everest. “We believe these tower assets are high-quality complements to our existing portfolios and we look forward to expanding the network coverage of our customers with increased leasing activities in the future.”
Todd Boyer, Chief Executive Officer of TowerCo, added “we are excited to acquire these attractive, strategically located assets while expanding TowerCo’s national footprint. We look forward to maximizing the value of these assets, providing exceptional wireless connectivity solutions for our customers, and a productive relationship with Charter as we assume ownership and operations of the towers.”
Everest Infrastructure Partners and TowerCo are each supported by lead equity sponsor Peppertree Capital Management. Houlihan Lokey served as Charter’s financial advisor regarding the transaction. Thompson Hine LLP acted as external legal counsel on behalf of Everest Infrastructure Partners and TowerCo.