Less than three weeks after closing its 3,256 tower sale to SBA Communications, TowerCo is back in the game.
The tower company purchased 119 towers from i Wireless along with a five-year exclusive build-to-suit agreement and the opportunity to acquire future towers i Wireless may bring to market. The transaction is valued at $45.5 million and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Begun in 2004, TowerCo built up a portfolio of 430 towers and sold it to SBA for $193.5 million in 2008. Later that year, TowerCo purchased more than 3,000 towers from Sprint Nextel for $670 million. The tower company built that portfolio up to more than 3,200 towers and sold again to SBA four years later.
“It’s a repeat performance for TowerCo,” R. Clayton Funk, managing director, Media Venture Partners, told AGL Bulletin. “It signals their continue confidence in the tower industry and their ability to grow the company.”
TowerCo’s business model is to purchase carrier-owned and operated towers, which many times have not been managed comprehensively and marketed aggressively to other tenants, according to Funk.
“The strength of TowerCo is its ability to professionally shore up the assets and launch a focused marketing effort,” Funk said.
i wireless, headquartered in Urbandale, Iowa, is a partnership between T-Mobile USA and Iowa Network Services, a privately owned by a group of 127 independent telephone companies that serve 500,000 rural Iowans.
“The TowerCo deal provides i wireless financial flexibility and will support our recently announced Des Moines market expansion and statewide network investment to bring our customers a stronger and faster 4G experience,” i Wireless CEO Craven Shumaker said in a prepared statement.
Richard Byrne, CEO of TowerCo, said he enjoyed his two week vacation.
Kevin Brynestad of Alpina Capital worked as M&A advisor and Ted Olt of Lane & Waterman acted as legal counsel to i Wireless. Bruce Gutenplan of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison acted as legal counsel to TowerCo.