In a joint venture with Australia’s Lendlease Group, SoftBank Group Corp. intends to buy approximately 8,000 cellular sites across the U.S. Lendlease will be the joint venture manager, asset manager and development manager.
The new infrastructure company, Lendlease Towers, aims to partner with major U.S. carriers to roll out further phases of their infrastructure plans to meet growing demand for data. The goal is to obtain $5 billion of telecom assets, “over the medium term,” through a development and acquisition-based strategy, says a Lendlease spokesman. According to Fox Business, Sprint Corp. is selling its interest in rooftop transmitters and other sites to Lendlease Towers, to get the process started. SoftBank currently owns about 80 percent of Sprint’s outstanding shares.
In its press release, Lendlease CEO Americas, Denis Hickey said, “I am pleased to announce the establishment of an infrastructure vehicle focused on the U.S. telco sector, which continues to experience unprecedented growth in data usage as the world moves to becoming more connected.” In the release, Lendlease said they had a ‘long-standing relationship with SoftBank in Japan’ and were excited to partner on a stateside initiative.
Fox Business reports that SoftBank and Lendlease will each initially contribute $200 million towards the startup. The backers didn’t discuss future commitment but said they are seeking more capital partners.
October 19, 2017