October 16, 2014 — Another deal that is in the works, U.S. Cellular is monetizing non-strategic assets, including its spectrum portfolio and the sale of 595 non-strategic cell towers in areas outside of its core market focus. Wells Fargo Securities and TD Securities are managing the transaction.
U.S. Cellular sold its spectrum, network and subscribers in Chicago and St. Louis and four midwest markets in between them to Sprint for $480 million in November 2012, but it kept the towers. Some of the towers may have collocation tenants, while others may be empty, but all of them were decommissioned from U.S. Cellular’s viewpoint.
This smaller tower acquisition opportunity may open the door for mid-tier tower company, such as Digital Bridge, InSite Wireless, Diamond Communications and TowerCo, according to industry sources. It all depends on how comfortable they are with buying a portfolio with some empty towers.