American Tower to buy owner of about 5,400 towers

BOSTON (AP) - American Tower said Friday that it reached a deal to buy the parent company of Global Tower Partners, which owns about 5,400 cellular towers in the U.S., for about $3.3 billion.

The purchase price includes $3.3 billion in cash, plus the assumption of about $1.5 billion in existing debt. The companies value the deal at about $4.8 billion.

Global Tower, which is majority owned by Macquarie Infrastructure Partners, also owns and operates about 800 properties in the U.S. under third-party communications sites, and has management rights to over 9,000 domestic sites.

In addition, it owns 500 communications sites in Costa Rica.

Jim Taiclet, American Tower's chairman, president and CEO, said Global Tower's U.S. portfolio of tower, rooftop and land assets is highly complementary to that of his company.

The Boston-based wireless communications infrastructure company said it expects Global Tower's portfolio to generate about $345 million in 2014 revenue and to immediately boost its adjusted funds from operations.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter. American Tower plans to use a combination of cash on hand and debt to finance the deal.

American Tower shares rose $2.26, or 3.3 percent, to $71.01 in premarket trading. The stock closed Thursday at $68.75, down about 11 percent for the year. Shares have traded between $67.89 and $85.26 in the past 52 weeks.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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