SBA Buys 3,252 Towers From TowerCo for $1.45 Billion

SBA Communications Corp. agreed to buy 3,252 towers from TowerCo for $1.45 billion, its second acquisition of wireless network antennas this year as mobile device carriers try to woo subscribers with faster connections.

SBA will pay $1.2 billion in cash and 4.6 million shares for towers in 47 U.S. states and Puerto Rico, the companies said today in a statement. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter and the assets will produce as much as $95 million in tower cash flow in 2013 for SBA.

The deal is Boca Raton, Florida-based SBA’s largest in at least 13 years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company in February agreed to pay about $1.1 billion for 2,300 towers in the U.S. and Central America from Mobilitie LLC, as well as outdoor distributed antenna system assets in Chicago, Las Vegas, New York City and Auburn, Alabama. That cash and stock deal completed in April, and was projected to add about $75 million in tower cash flow in 2012.

SBA rose 1.6 percent to $55.64 yesterday. The shares had gained 30 percent this year. Cary, North Carolina-based TowerCo, the fifth-largest independent tower operating company in the U.S., counts among its investors Soros Strategic Partners LP and Vulcan Capital.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. provided $900 million in financing and acted as financial adviser for SBA, while Greenberg Traurig LLP provided legal council. Wells Fargo & Co. acted as financial adviser to TowerCo, and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP was its legal adviser.

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