American Tower Corporation (NYSE: AMT) today announced that it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Eaton Towers, which owns and operates approximately 5,500 communications sites across five African markets. As a result of the transaction, the company also expects to accelerate new build activity across the region due to expanded relationships with multiple key tenants. The total consideration for the transaction, including the company’s assumption of existing Eaton Towers debt, is approximately $1.85 billion, subject to customary closing adjustments.
“This is a solid deal for AMT,” said Spencer Kurn with New Street Research. “It will drive higher organic growth for the overall company, increase scale in three of their existing African markets, and of course be financially accretive. Further, we think it may pave the way for additional tower deals in Africa, potentially with Helios and IHS.”
Jim Taiclet, American Tower’s Chief Executive Officer stated, “This transaction will significantly augment our existing footprint in Africa and positions ATC to take even better advantage of the growth opportunity in the region as 4G mobile data technology is deployed to serve millions of Africans over the coming years.”
The assets are expected to generate approximately $260 million in property revenue and approximately $165 million in gross margin, at current exchange rates, in their first full year in American Tower’s portfolio. The transaction is anticipated to be immediately accretive to Consolidated AFFO per Share and is expected to close by the end of 2019, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.