Towers For Sale

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Colby Synesael and Gregory Williams of Cowen and Company hosted an investor lunch with CFO Fran Shammo, Controller Tony Skiadas, and SVP of IR Mike Stefanski in New York City this week. Synesael commented in a research note about their discussion concerning Verizon’s potential sale of towers. “As management continues to consider the sale of its tower assets, management provided more insight into what they found particularly attractive about the AT&T tower sale to Crown, which was the impetus of Verizon’s interest,” he said. “Outside of the attractive price paid by Crown for the AT&T towers, Verizon was particularly attracted to the terms and conditions granted, more specifically mentioning the ability for AT&T to maintain control (and reserve space) on the towers. Verizon was not concerned about the possible increase in tower concentration into fewer hands. As far as selling traditional copper assets (in light of AT&T’s Connecticut sale) management reminded us that it already sold many of its non-strategic wireline holdings to Fairpoint mostly on the east coast, Frontier in the Midwest, and Hawaiian Telecom in Hawaii. The copper network components in Verizon’s FiOS footprint are difficult to ‘peel off’ thus no meaningfully viable transactions to consider. Management strongly stressed that it does not need to sell towers/assets to execute on any upcoming events.”

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