Shentel strikes a $310 million deal with Vertical Bridge to sell its tower portfolio of 226 sites

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Vertical Bridge paid approximately $1.37 million for each Shentel tower that they'll be acquiring in March.

Vertical Bridge paid approximately $1.37 million for each Shentel tower they’ll acquire in March.

Shenandoah Telecommunications Company (Shentel), a prominent provider of broadband services, including cable TV across the Mid-Atlantic region, has announced a significant transaction with Vertical Bridge Holdco, LLC, a company based in Boca Raton, Florida, led by President and CEO Ron Bizick.

Shentel will sell its tower portfolio and operations to Vertical Bridge for $310.3 million in cash. This deal, expected to close in March 2024 initially, will see all funds transferred to Shentel at that time, subject to customary closing conditions with subsequent closings to follow as conditions are met for any remaining sites.

The portfolio in question comprises 226 tower sites, collectively bringing in $18.6 million in revenue, $9.5 million in operating income, and $11.6 million in Adjusted EBITDA for 2023. Shentel anticipates paying up to $10 million in income taxes for 2024, benefiting from the utilization of net operating loss forward due to the gain on this sale.

Christopher E. French, President and CEO of Shentel, stated that the proceeds from this sale would serve as additional growth capital, enhancing the company’s Glo Fiber line of business expansion plans. Shentel aims to extend its service to approximately 600,000 homes and business passings by the end of 2026. This sale, along with previously announced financings totaling $356 million for the acquisition of Horizon Telcom, is expected to fortify Shentel’s capital structure, offering greater financial flexibility for future endeavors.

Under Bizick’s leadership, Vertical Bridge welcomes the acquisition of these purpose-built broadband telephony towers into its portfolio. These towers are considered high-quality assets with potential for additional tenants. Their locations are strategically chosen for their difficulty in new tower construction due to zoning restrictions and terrain challenges. The geographic concentration of these towers presents a unique opportunity for deploying both existing and new technologies, enhancing Vertical Bridge’s offering in the telecommunications infrastructure sector.