Phoenix Tower International (PTI) announced Monday it has closed a deal to acquire more than 600 wireless tower sites from top four U.S. carrier T-Mobile.
According to Phoenix Tower, the deal includes the “exclusive right to manage and operate the sites…via PTI’s local U.S. subsidiaries.”
Though the exact terms of the transaction were not released, Phoenix Tower simultaneously announced the closing of a five-year credit facility with Toronto Dominion (TD) Securities used to finance the acquisition and provide funds for new tower development and the acquisition of further wireless infrastructure assets in the United States.
“The closing of this credit facility with Toronto Dominion was crucial to the acquisition of the sites with T-Mobile,” Phoenix Tower CEO Dagan Kasavana said. “TD’s facility provides additional financing for development and acquisition opportunities in the United States where we want to continue to build momentum after our transaction with T-Mobile. TD is a market leader in tower financing and we are excited to work with them in our continued expansion in the United States.”
The news comes amid reports T-Mobile is looking to raise $10 billion, as it prepares for a showdown with Verizon and AT&T in the upcoming incentive auction. Earlier this month, the carrier announced a $2 billion debt sale as a way to secure funds the company admitted could be used for the “acquisition of additional spectrum.”
The sale of T-Mobile’s towers echoes previous sales from AT&T and Verizon ahead of the AWS-3 auction.
In December 2013, AT&T pulled together $4.83 billion for the auction in a deal to lease the rights to approximately 9,000 of its towers to Crown Castle. AT&T also sold 600 of its towers to Crown Castle outright as part of the deal.
In September 2014, Verizon announced it, too, was considering the sale of its towers. In March of this year, the carrier closed a $5 billion deal to lease or sell 11,448 cell sites to American Tower.
The AWS-3 auction saw AT&T and Verizon spend a combined $28 billion, more than half of the $41 billion in total revenue.
Though Verizon admitted recently that the 600 MHz spectrum up for grabs “is not (its) top priority,” T-Mobile has repeatedly expressed the sentiment that it will take the opportunity to scoop up as much spectrum as it can.
“TMobile is definitely ready and participating and sees this auction as a unique, important opportunity and event,” T-Mobile CEO John Legere said on Twitter in September. “TMobile is going to go hard in this low-band spectrum auction and put that spectrum to good use for our customers!”
Legere’s comments were supported by CFO Braxton Carter, who said in October the Un-carrier will “buy anything that’s humanly possible within our envelope.”
Filed Under: Infrastructure