Crown Castle Says AT&T Transaction Is All About Growth

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At the beginning of the month Crown Castle International’s CEO, Ben Moreland, attended PCIA’s 2013 Wireless Infrastructure Show and was part of a roundtable discussion with the other CEO’s of the major tower companies. One of the questions asked was, “why is the focus mostly domestic?”

Ben Moreland explained that, “The North American market is the most attractive market in the world. We’ve added over 7,000 sites last year. We’re certainly looking into other markets in North America. We’ve looked at South America and Eastern Europe but we’re going to stay with our strategy to become a leader in the North American market.”

By agreeing to make a deal with AT&T, Crown Castle is securing their spot as a leader in the North American Market. Today, Crown Castle held a conference call to discuss the transaction along with their third-quarter earnings.

“First, let me start by saying this transaction we’ve announced is all about growth, pure and simple, and our belief in growth and accretion to AFFO per share relative to other potential investments we could have made over time. In acquiring the rights to these 9,700 towers from AT&T, we’re continuing to execute our principal strategic objective: positioning Crown Castle as the leader in the U.S. market, the largest wireless market in the world, and one that we believe is the most continuable — continuing profitable investment in wireless networks is most assured,” Moreland said.

This acquisition of AT&T’s 9,700 towers will increase CCI’s tower count to nearly 40,000. Before this deal was announced, UBS—a global financial firm—estimated that Crown Castle’s net operating revenue would reach over $3.2 billion in 2014. Crown Castle announced during their conference call that they estimated the site rental revenues for 2013 to increase from $2,478 to $2,483 and they estimate the site rental revenues for 2014 to increase from $2,967 to $2,982. “Impact to site rental revenues from iDEN (integrated digital enhanced network) decommissioning is expected to be 3%, with 1% coming in 2014 and the remaining 2% coming after 2014,” Crown Castle explained.

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