Verizon Sells $5B In Towers To American Tower Corporation

By Nick G. Foster

February 5, 2015

It was just announced  that Verizon is selling to American Tower Corporation rights to over 11,000 of their cell towers and is purchasing 165 Verizon cell towers outright. The total purchase price on the transaction is valued at just over five billion dollars. This transaction will now make American Tower Corporation the largest cell tower owner in North America, surpassing Crown Castle, the former largest tower owner with 40,000+ towers.  After the transaction Verizon plans on subleasing space on their old towers at a minimum rate of $1,900.00 per month with a 2% annual rent escalator.

How Does This Affect You?

If you are a landlord with a Verizon cell tower you may soon be receiving notice that your tenant is now American Tower Corporation. Lease assignment language in most Verizon cell tower lease agreements is slanted in the favor of the tenant.  In most leases, these tenants rights typically require them to provide you with only notice of the assignment. This change in tenancy will most likely not serve as an opportunity for you to increase rent.

What Does The Future Look Like For Your Tower?

With this recent transaction, we anticipate American Tower Corporation will begin contacting property owners more aggressively requesting to extend leases! You must remember lease extensions typically lock-in you the landlord and not the tenant to an additional time period.

It is important that you contact cell tower lease experts such as Airwave Advisors anytime you receive proposals from your cell tower tenant. Are you leaving money on the table?

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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).