American Tower lands BR Towers for nearly $1B

American Tower lands BR Towers for nearly $1B

16 JUN 2014

American Tower is to spend BRL2.18 billion ($978 million) on a Brazilian tower business, even as it has been linked with a local unit of Telecom Italia which is also in the cellular infrastructure business.

The acquisition of BR Towers from two private equity funds and other shareholders will deliver the US company ownership of 2,530 towers, in addition to exclusive use of 2,110 further towers.

Meanwhile, as recently as last month, it was reported that American Tower was interested in buying Telecom Italia’s portfolio of cellular towers in Brazil, thought to be worth in the region of $1 billion.

The Italian company has a portfolio of some 6,000 towers. It is unclear whether the US firm is still interested or whether it will be sated by the current acquisition.

The welter of activity comes on the back of the American company buying Nextel’s cellular infrastructure in Brazil last year.

The asking price for BR Towers is being met through cash and the assumption of debt.

The sellers are GP Investments and Banco Bradesco’s private equity unit, FIP Multisetorial Plus.

Furthermore, Bloomberg reports that Grupo Torresur, yet another private equity-owned Brazilian tower business, is looking for a buyer. It could be worth about $2 billion, said the report.

American Tower said BR Towers will generate about $131 million in annual run-rate revenues and about $81 million in annual gross margin. The deal is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in Q4 this year.

Finally, the US company is thought to be among the bidders pursuing a multi-bullion deal to acquire Bharti Airtel’s African towers business.

Author

Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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