AT&T and Crown Castle Int'l forge agreement on towers and cell sites
The largest phone company in the United States, AT&T Inc had entered into an agreement to lease or sell about 9,700 wireless towers for USD4.85 billion to Crown Castle International Corp. The purpose is to expand its fund base, especially in the European market.
Crown Castle would acquire 600 AT&T towers and the exclusive right to lease about 9,100 others for about 28 years on average. This was confirmed by the two firms in separate statements. For its part, Crown Castle said it would have the option to purchase the leased assets for USD4.2 billion starting in 2032.
The sale would strengthen the US telecoms firm's balance sheet as it undertakes a network upgrade as well as do a stock buyback that can cost the firm in the upwards of USD11 billion. It also would planning acquisitions in Europe.
Crown Castle is based out of Houston, TX and have been increasing their presence in the wireless industry as many carriers sell off their cell sites to companies and then leasing the same space for future use.
In a statement, Crown Castle President and CEO said, through a statement, "We are very pleased with our agreement with AT&T, which strengthens our position as the largest provider of shared wireless infrastructure in the United States."