August 6, 2015 — Apparently T-Mobile did not sell all of its towers to Crown Castle back in 2012. This week, the carrier entered into a contract to sell the rights to more than 600 wireless communication tower sites to Phoenix Tower International, which will have the exclusive right to manage and operate the sites via its local U.S. subsidiaries.
Dagan Kasavana, Phoenix Tower International CEO, said the T-Mobile tower locations are well situated for additional lease-up opportunities. Terms of the transaction remain confidential, industry sources estimate the deal at between $150 million and $175 million.
Private companies have dominated the M& A market in 2015. The Phoenix Tower deal follows the Vertical Bridge’s purchase of towers owned by CiG Wireless, U.S. Cellular and iHeartRadio, as well as NTELOS’ tower sale to Grain Management and CTI Towers’ sale to InSite Wireless.
“It’s interesting that we are seeing private companies stepping up and beating public companies in these transactions,” said Clayton Funk, managing director, Media Venture Partners.
Prior to co-founding Phoenix Tower International, Kasavana and Natalya Kashirina (VP of M&A), were involved in mergers and acquisitions of U.S.-based Global Tower Partners. Phoenix has owned a small portfolio of U.S. towers in the United States, but this is its first material domestic acquisition.
“The [Phoenix Tower] management team has significant experience operating and leasing tower sites in the United States and is thrilled to have a significant portfolio of high quality sites in the United States to offer to our customers,” Kasavana.
Furthermore, this transaction represents another milestone in Phoenix Tower’s expansion and allows us to service our customer’s strategic needs across the Americas.”
The U.S. tower acquisition was preceded by Phoenix Towers’ acquisition of T4U Holding Brasil by Phoenix Tower in June. T4U’s towers will be merged into Phoenix Tower’s existing Brazilian tower business, Phoenix Tower do Brasil, which will own and operate 529 wireless infrastructure assets with a pipeline of more than 250 wireless towers under construction.
Including Phoenix Tower do Brasil, the T-Mobile acquisition brings Phoenix Tower’s total site count to 1,600 towers.
In September 2014, Phoenix Tower International acquired American Tower’s Panamanian business, which consisted of 60 telecommunications sites. Founded in 2013, Phoenix Tower has operations in Costa Rica, Panama, Dominican Republic, Colombia, the United States and Brazil.