(AP) — Communications tower operator SBA Communications Corp. is buying 3,252 towers in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $1.45 billion. The transaction with affiliates of TowerCo includes $1.2 billion in cash and 4.6 million shares of SBA common stock. The towers are located in 47 states and Puerto Rico. SBA says the towers will be in great demand for future cell-splitting needs of U.S. wireless carriers.
SBA and rivals such as American Tower Corp. and Crown Castle International Corp. make money by leasing towers and other equipment to wireless carriers. "We believe the TowerCo assets are high-quality, well-located and have ample capacity for additional tenants," SBA President and CEO Jeffrey Stoops said in a statement. SBA said Tuesday that it will pay for the cash portion of the buyout with available cash, existing credit facilities and up to $900 million in financing commitments from J.P. Morgan.
The transaction comes a little over four months after SBA announced that it would buy more than 2,300 antenna tower sites in the U.S. and Central America from Mobilitie LLC for $1.1 billion in cash and stock. SBA, which is based in Boca Raton, Florida., said that the deal with TowerCo will immediately add to its adjusted funds from operations per share. The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter. Its shares finished at $55.64 on Monday. They are near the high end of their 52-week range of $32.36 to $56 per share.