PG&E Sells Tower Rights To SBA For $973M

By Nick G. Foster

February 4, 2021

PG&E, California’s largest utility, announced that they have sold the rights to locate antennas on their utility towers to SBA Communications for $973 million.

PG&E made national headlines in 2018 when their utility towers started the deadly Camp Fire in California. PG&E later pled guilty to 84 separate counts of involuntary manslaughter and one felony count of unlawfully starting a fire.

The company plans on using the almost $1B they will receive in the SBA transaction to pay down debt. PG&E emerged from bankruptcy last year after agreeing to pay $25.5 billion to settle claims from wildfires blamed on their equipment.

In the transaction with SBA, SBA will have license rights to more than 700 PG&E transmission towers and will be able to sublicense and market equipment on up to 28,000 additional towers. PG&E will receive a portion of revenues from sublicenses. The deal is expected to close early this year.

As California’s most reputable cell tower lease consultant, Airwave Advisors has ran across ground leases with landlords to place equipment shelters next to PG&E towers many times over recent years. Typically PG&E owns the cell tower, however, they often do not have space on the ground to place the equipment shelter. This gives nearby property owners the ability to secure monthly rent to lease their land for the placement of the ground equipment.

If you have been contacted for any lease in connection with a PG&E tower, please call Airwave Advisors at (888) 443-5101 to discuss further.

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Nick Foster Airwave Advisors

About Nick G. Foster

Since founding Airwave Advisors® in 2014, Mr. Foster has added value to over 400 clients ranging from the State of Nevada, City of Beverly Hills, to Habitat For Humanity. Mr. Foster focuses on cell tower lease renewals, buyouts, new lease negotiation, and cell site lease management. Prior to starting Airwave Advisors® Mr. Foster founded and led the Cell Site Services Group within nationwide commercial real estate services leader Cassidy Turley (now known as Cushman & Wakefield).