AMT Considers South African Towers

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lR2Nq7MAYb5IBATKzCW9SPzhY-IoyZo_KfCyC_YQuWy2s9nqX_k8Eyd-XUVTpLGkxqqR5VhYe5YbEIQR2a7OA6ZztOIkDiN_YQOkFExKoThQ4BSjFvh8FoJClrDJlv5ztIspQGzwJJ2VF0cmXjFVcrBKs1QY-pOdIfeLab0=s0-d-e1-ftMTN Group, African’s largest wireless carrier, reportedly received interest from American Tower to acquire part of the carrier’s 9,000 towers in South Africa. MTN Group has been having discussions with tower companies, but doesn’t expect to close a deal before the end of the year. MTN’s tower assets have been valued at approximately $1.5 billion. MTN Group may decide to keep part of the tower assets, but is looking to raise cash from their properties by giving tower operators the ability to rent space on cell sites to other carriers. And American Tower has been focusing on expanding their business internationally.

“By diversifying our revenue stream internationally, focusing on large well-funded multinational carriers and deploying capital for high-growth assets, we believe that our international segment will further elevate and extend our growth trajectory beyond that of our core business for many years to come,” Chairman, President and CEO of American Tower Jim Taiclet said on the company’s most recent conference call. In November, AMT made a $1.05 billion deal with Bharti Airtel for 4,800 towers in Nigeria, and agreed to buy 6,480 sites in Brazil from Tim Participacoes SA. Tom Barlett, EVP and CFO said, “We expect to close our previously announced transaction in Nigeria with Airtel in the first half of the year, which will allow us to commence operations in our newest high growth international market. By acquiring about 4,800 sites from Airtel, we will gain meaningful scale in a country, which has the largest economy in Africa with a fast growing wireless sector and an extremely young, extremely mobile population with virtually no fixed buying infrastructure in place.”

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March 12, 2015 |
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