A client of ours owns more than a few cell towers that have AT&T as a collocation tenant. They recently received this letter, yet another in a long line of letters that threaten the tower owner with some dire consequence if they don’t renegotiate or sell their tower to AT&T.
In this case, the threat is somewhat comical. “The sale of your tower to certain parties may result in AT&T sending a non-renewal notice regarding our lease.” How is that a threat? If a tower owner has already sold the tower to a third party, why would they care whether AT&T sends a non-renewal notice? Perhaps AT&T’s thought is that if the seller needs to get an estoppel from AT&T regarding its lease to present to the buyer, that AT&T’s can thwart the sale of the tower by instead sending a notice of non-renewal?
In our experience, most buyers don’t really care whether a notice of non-renewal is sent, provided that there is enough term remaining before they can choose not to renew or if the tower is located in an area with zoning regulations that prohibit construction of new towers near existing towers.
The other comical part is that AT&T (through its’ financial supplier) is asking for lease information about each tower so that the financial supplier can process the information and make an offer. Of course, AT&T then also has information about other subleases that the tower owner has on your tower which can be used against the tower owner in future lease negotiations.
If you are inclined to sell your tower, reach out to us and we can give you a free back of the napkin estimate of the value of the tower. We won’t use your information against you and we won’t threaten you with sending laughable notice’s of non-renewal in order to get you to sell. If you aren’t interested in selling but feel like you need some help in addressing these threats from AT&T, please call us to discuss your situation further.