CTI Towers has struck a deal to buy a “package” of towers from Connoisseur Media for $4.1 million. And while the size of the deal was relatively modest – around 10 towers – the arrangement is unusual as Connoisseur said it didn’t plan to pay monthly fees to CTI as a tenant.
“We are not paying rent going forward, as compared to some companies that use the tower sale to effectively sell part of their company,” Connoisseur chief executive Jeff Warshaw said in an Inside Radio article copied onto the Connoisseur website.
That’s because unlike other tower operators, the Connecticut-based Connoisseur doesn’t actually own any of the towers it operated. That may mean, however, that it ends up paying a fee similar to rent, but called something different. “They might be [paying monthly fees], but through creative financing of the deal, it’s not being called rent,” an industry insider told Wireless Estimator.
Details on the deal are decidedly few and far between, as both Broker Michael Bergner, who helped work with Connoisseur on the deal, and CTI CEO Tony Peduto were apparently told not to comment on it, Wireless Estimator reported.
But according to an unnamed individual with knowledge of the deal, CTI acquired approximately 10 towers, four of which were located in:
- Long Island, New York
- Norwalk, Connecticut
- Erie, Pennsylvania
- Billings, Montana
The unusual nature of the purchase notwithstanding, the deal is a drop in the bucket for CTI. Currently in growth mode, the Massachusetts-based CTI is actively expanding its portfolio beyond its current 600 towers. Earlier this year, it secured $30 million in new debt to finance additional deals, according to Inside Radio.
In addition to Connoisseur, other companies selling towers to CTI include Alpha Media, iHeartMedia, Townsquare Media and Vyve Broadband. Last year, CTI acquired 120 communications towers from Vyve, and that was its fourth acquisition that year – though none of the others quite rivaled that size.
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