Sometimes a name says it all, in this instance it’s one letter. Formerly APTowers, North Carolina-based APC Towers has rebranded to reflect its management team that has been at the core of the company.
Daniel Agresta, a 18-year veteran of the wireless industry, spoke to Inside Towers about the changes the company made last August and the 2016 outlook. Agresta serves as partner, president and CEO. Prior to joining APC Towers, Agresta served as vice president of DAS Sales & Business Development for American Tower. Agresta and his team were responsible for all carrier sales, partnering with integrators and landlord relationships on more than 1,400 venues nationwide. Prior to this role, Agresta served as vice president of sales for SpectraSite Communications, where he was responsible for the company’s nationwide collocation sales activity on 8,300 tower assets. Agresta also has served in various M&A, sales management and site development roles, which included acquiring and developing more than 3,300 towers during his tenure.
From a big picture perspective, Agresta told Inside Towers’ Alyssa Stahr, “To build any tower company – you do it in two ways. 1 – acquire exitsing towers “buying cash flow”. And 2 – work with, bid on, partner-up with carriers on build to suit contracts.”
Over the past 12 months, the tower developer formerly known as APTowers has added BTS (build to suit) contracts, rooftop management agreements, towers acquisitions and a new letter to its name.
“In 2011, I left the public tower sector to start a tower company for a private equity fund in Philly,” Agresta said. “I brought on David and Mark to help me build a team essentially to start a mid-size tower company.”
After three years, a decision was made that it would work out for all parties if they went out on their own. Within 60 days Agresta got a commitment for some equity and debt, and they re-branded with the new name, logo and offices—but the management team stayed in place. They were within a private equity fund, with the previous name staying with that fund. So, they renamed the company by adding a “C” to the name, rolling that under the new private equity funding that they received. Coincidentally, the name by accident is the management team’s initials, so it was easy and made sense.
“It was a funny coincidence, to be honest with you,” Agresta said. “The same management team that started off building in one state is currently developing in 14 states.” With more than 50 years of telecom experience, the three, including Mark Cravens, partner and senior vice president of development, and David J. Pierce, partner and senior vice president of operations, plan on continuing to build quality sites for their customers, expanding into new markets and building on. The best compliment, Agresta said, is getting more work in the company’s existing markets.
“That would be to do quality work to lead into extending our work into the markets we’re in today and then continue to do new business development to get some market share in some new markets and get some opportunities to build in markets that we haven’t been in yet,” he said.
Agresta said that the management team has the experience of being in the public sector for a long time, and now in the private sector for the last five years. Cravens has been working in the wireless industry since 1993. Prior to joining APC Towers, he served as the vice president of business development for Capital Telecom, where he was responsible for managing the sales team and negotiating tower-build contracts nationwide. Pierce has worked in the telecommunications industry for more than 15 years. Prior to joining APC Towers, he served in various vice president and director level operational roles at American Tower and SpectraSite Communications. Pierce co-led the launch of American Tower’s outdoor DAS business. He led American Tower and SpectraSite structural engineering departments through the merger and integration of more than 19,000 sites.
APC Towers’ management team is hands-on with all of their work, according to Agresta.
“We’re doing sales and development and operations; we’re a lean organization. We all complement each other, and we all bring different skill sets to the table,” he said.
APC Towers currently participates in the rapidly growing proliferation of new towers via working directly with carriers doing built-to-suits. The company also manages third party assets, including towers, rooftops and real estate portfolios in connection to securing broadband and small cell installations, while acquiring additional cash flow through tower acquisitions. In 2016, Agresta hopes that growth will come from word of mouth from the carriers that the company is building today, and also via regional employees within the company. Other avenues will include responding to RFPs and building upon past relationships.
“We are always looking to grow and although we would love to do that in our existing markets, the reality is to get scale we need to build in numerous markets,” he said. “We’re strong in the southeast and we’re really looking to grow into the mountain region, so we’re going to keep moving out toward the west.”
This includes complementing the work in upstate New York, the South Plains and the Midwest.
“The Pacific Northwest we’re new to, so we’re trying to grow that region also,” he said. “We have a lot to do. It’s challenging, but we’re growing and we’re fighting the good fight just like any strong tower developer.”
For more information, visit www.apctowers.com.