American Tower officials provided some color on the acquisition of 60 tall towers from Richland Towers, which occurred subsequent to the end of the first quarter. The transaction amounted to nearly $450 million in total consideration plus the assumption of $197 million in secured debt, according to Tom Bartlett, company CFO.
The towers are populated mostly by radio and television broadcasters, but American Tower may have some creative ideas for additional tenants. “We picked up 60 high-quality U.S. towers in early April to further cement our leading tall tower position in the United States,” Bartlett said. “We expect that these types of towers may also be a platform for fixed broadband wireless video in the future.”
American Tower is increasing its outlook for adjusted EBITDA by $50 million, in part because of the expected $20 million contribution from the Richland Tower portfolio.
American Towers has purchased Richland Towers, which owns, operates and manages multitenant tower facilities providing service primarily to television and radio broadcast companies, for a reported $350 million.
Founded in Tampa, Fla., in 1996, Richland Towers was one of the nation’s largest, privately owned tall tower companies. Richland also provided services including tower construction coordination, facilities operation and management, transmitter site development, tenant facility integration and remote monitoring.
Richland Towers Bought 7 Clear Channel Towers in March 2013
A year ago, Richland was still growing as it purchased seven towers from Clear Channel in Cleveland; Columbia, S.C.; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; West Palm Beach, Fla.; and Prospect, Conn.
Richland Towers Still Battling Denton, West in Court
Just last month, Richland Towers was continuing its court battle against former employees, David Denton and Dale West, and their company, Tall Tower Ventures.
The two men resigned as executives at Richland in January 2012 and established Tall Towers Ventures, and Richland Towers filed suit alleging breach of the employment agreements and misappropriation of trade secrets. Denton and West countersued claiming breach of contract, among other things.
Also in Play: 1,200 Clear Channel Towers
Another rumor is making the rounds that Clear Channel is dumping all of its 1,200 broadcast towers. Whoever buys those towers will be sorry as the sell-off of stations begins down the road, according to Jerry Del Colliano of Inside Music Media.