Melody Investment Advisors, an alternative asset manager focused on comm-infrastructure, may have attained the next level with its acquisition of CTI Towers, which was majority owned by Comcast Ventures, Comcast Corporation’s venture investment arm. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
CTI Towers owns and manages 1,150 cell towers in 47 states. Tony Peduto, who has been CEO since the company’s founding, will remain in that position along with the rest of the management team at CTI Towers.
It is the second major acquisition this year for Melody, which purchased 90 percent of Uniti Towers, including 500 towers, from Uniti Group for $220 million in cash in May. That purchase was funded by Melody Communications Infrastructure Fund II.
“We are excited about the addition of CTI Towers to our rapidly growing portfolio of communications infrastructure assets and pleased about the expanded capabilities we are now able to bring to our carrier partners which will include CTI Towers’ assets and unique capabilities in the cable tower ecosystem,” said Omar Jaffrey, managing partner and Founder of Melody Investment Advisors.
Melody Investment Advisors focuses on communications infrastructure transactions ranging from $50 million to $1 billion or more, including telecom easements, wireless towers, data centers, fiber optics and other mission critical parts of communications infrastructure.
“We are excited about our growing platform and the unique solutions we are able to provide to carriers,” said Chester Dawes, chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Melody Investment Advisors. “As we look ahead, Melody is in a strong position to both execute on further acquisitions, as well as to expand on our tower construction and innovative financing solutions capabilities.”
In 2016, Melody Wireless Infrastructure acquired over 760 wireless infrastructure assets from Unison Site Management, increasing the size of Melody’s portfolio to approximately 3,000 assets. In 2014, fixed wireless operator Towerstream received a $35 million debt capital injection from Melody.
“The CTI Towers acquisition, along with the Uniti Towers purchase, clearly show Melody’s continued bullish view of towers,” said Clayton Funk, managing director, MVP Capital. “Now they may be one of the largest owners of towers, rooftops and ground leases in the country. In terms of cash flow, they may be rising to the ranks of tower companies, such as Insite Wireless Group and Vertical Bridge.”
Other financial firms invested in wireless infrastructure include Everest Infrastructure Partners, M/C Partners, Strategic Wireless Infrastructure Funds Management, Peppertree Capital Management, Grain Management and Digital Colony.
“Towers are just a great investment. Fund managers and sources of capital are seeing towers as a solid investment and they are willing to pay up for a solid asset,” Funk said.
Evercore is serving as exclusive financial advisor to CTI Towers, Inc.