SBA Communications to buy tower sites for $1.45 billion

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 26, 2012 7:14 AM
SBA Communications to buy tower sites for $1.45 billion

(Reuters) - Wireless tower operator SBA Communications Corp will buy 3,252 mobile phone tower sites in the United States and Puerto Rico from privately held TowerCo for about $1.45 billion to benefit from an explosion in data traffic.

TowerCo will get $1.2 billion in cash and 4.6 million SBA common shares, the companies said in a statement.

SBA will fund the deal with cash on hand, existing credit facilities and up to $900 million in financing commitments from J.P. Morgan.

The deal with TowerCo is the second billion-dollar acquisition by SBA Communications, after it agreed in February to buy more than 2,300 tower sites from Mobilitie LLC for about $1.09 billion.

SBA and rivals American Tower Corp and Crown Castle International Corp are scrambling to increase capacity to meet the growing demand for data from mobile devices such as Apple Inc's iPhone and iPad.

American Tower spent $500 million to buy 2,500 towers from Telefónica's Mexican unit in December. Crown Castle swiftly followed by snapping up NextG Networks Inc to expand its small antenna business.

(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)