American Tower Corp (ATC) has acquired privately owned Brazilian tower operator BR Towers for BRL2.18 billion (USD978 million) in a cash and debt deal. BR Towers’ assets include approximately 2,530 wholly owned towers and exclusive rights to a further 2,110 via lease agreements. ATC is confident that the newly acquired assets will generate annual ‘run rate’ (i.e. how its financial performance will look if current results are extrapolated over a period) revenue of around USD131 million, and an estimated USD81 million in annual gross margin income. It is understood that the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary terms and conditions, and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2014.
This is not the first time the US-based firm has been linked with a bid to increase its portfolio in Brazil. In May this year CommsUpdate reported that Telecom Italia’s (TI’s) plan to sell off mobile phone towers in Brazil has piqued the interest of a number of groups, including ATC and Goldman Sachs’ Cell Site Solutions Cessao de Infraestruturas. According to people familiar with the situation who wished to remain anonymous as the talks are deemed private, both groups have submitted letters of interest to TI, which is working with Morgan Stanley to sell off around 6,000 towers – valued at EUR750 million. In a statement at the time, TI said it was expecting non-binding offers for the Brazilian assets by 31 May. In total, the Milan-based group owns approximately 8,500 mobile towers in Brazil through TIM Brasil.