CCI expresses interest in buying Verizon towers

Crown Castle (CCI) is the largest of the Big Three U.S. tower companies, and currently owns 40K towers nationwide (followed by American Tower with ~28K and SBA with 15K).   In September 2012, CCI bought 7,200 cell towers from T-Mobile, and in October 2013 it purchased 9,700 from AT&T.  CCI spokesperson says the company is now open to buying 6K towers from Verizon, which would be a $3B acquisition. [Read more…]

Tristar Investors Lawsuit Against American Tower Corporation

On Feb 16,  2012, Tristar Investors sued American Tower Corporation alleging that American Tower had violated the Lanham Act, unfairly competed, disparaged Tristar’s business, tortuously interfered with an existing contract and with prospective business relations, and lastly had breached a contract.   The suit was filed in Federal Court in Dallas.  The suit was quickly posted on the internet.  Tristar alleges in a lengthy complaint full of hyperbole that American Tower has prevented Tristar from purchasing assets that American Tower owns or subleases by using misrepresentation and unfair practices. [Read more…]

Best Practices Guide for Lease Buyout/Optimization Companies

Author’s Note: The following article is written tongue in cheek- I was just feeling a little rambunctious today about the myriad of “strategies” that we come across every day that lease buyout companies, tower companies, lease optimization firms, and wireless carriers use to try to convince landowners to do something that is not in their best interest. Hopefully, this will help at least one landowner realize that they aren’t alone and that they don’t have to make hurried and rash decisions.  Please realize that no company does all of these things and not all salespeople at these companies do them.  [Read more…]

Crown Castle and Nextel Revenue Sharing

On a few occasions now, clients of ours with Crown Castle tower ground leases have received proposals to either purchase or extend their ground leases.   These lease extension or lease buyout offers are attempts by Crown Castle to tie up long term rights under their towers.   This is nothing new, as they have been making these offers for years now to every one of their landowners. [Read more…]

When People with Good Intentions Make Poor Decisions Out of Ignorance

A gentleman contacted me this past week, a bit upset in that his church board had decided to sell a cell site lease to Wireless Capital Partners.   The Board had heard the pitch from the lease buyout company and was persuaded by Wireless Capital’s pitch that they would market the site to other carriers and get additional tenants to use the property.   The gentleman had pleaded with his church board to use our services or at least consider the alternatives, but they directed him to “let it rest”.   In this case, this was a bad decision by the church board on many fronts, and they will end up paying for their ignorance many times over. [Read more…]

Fox Guarding the Henhouse: Allentown and a Misguided RFP

We recently received a Request For Proposals from the City of Allentown, PA. This RFP was intended to procure a “consultant” to assist the City with the sale of its cell tower lease income. The City of Allentown wants the consultant to review the city’s cell tower leases and advise the City on whether it makes sense to sell them. Then the “consultant” is supposed to solicit offers to buy the leases. [Read more…]

How will cell tower leases be impacted by the current market conditions?

The last month has been a tumultuous time in the cell tower lease industry, primarily on the side of lease buyouts. With the plummet of the stock market, rising concerns about the availability of credit, and consumer confidence very low, the industry is starting to see the impact. Through our consultations, we have already started to see tangible evidence of a declining market especially in the lease buyout side. [Read more…]

Are Crown Castle and WCP Working Together?

In a tale of “strange bedfellows”, we are starting to wonder whether Crown Castle and Wireless Capital Partners are working together. A letter that Crown Castle is sending out to its landowners warns of the pitfalls of dealing with various lease buyout companies. However, the letter has one noticeable buyout company not included in the list- Wireless Capital Partners. [Read more…]

Subprime impact on Cell Tower Valuations and Cell Tower Lease Buyouts

It appears that the subprime issues will have an impact on the wireless/tower sector particularly regarding cell phone tower acquisitions and cell phone tower lease buyouts– especially for the mom and pop side of the industry. We suspect that 1/4 to 1/3 of the new tower being built this year come from Mom Pop tower companies or individuals. [Read more…]