Friday, 17 November 2017

Softbank/Sprint launch US towers JV with Australian firm

By Mary Lennighan, Total Telecom
Wednesday 18 October 17

Lendlease Towers targets US$5 billion of U.S. telecom infrastructure assets over the medium term

Softbank and Lendlease Group have launched a U.S. telecoms towers joint venture that will encompass Sprint's passive infrastructure and look for further acquisitions in the space. Australian infrastructure specialist Lendlease said the venture…

Softbank and Lendlease Group have launched a U.S. telecoms towers joint venture that will encompass Sprint's passive infrastructure and look for further acquisitions in the space.

Australian infrastructure specialist Lendlease said the venture, which will be known as Lendlease Towers, will focus on partnering with major U.S. carriers.

"The aim is to create a geographically diverse portfolio of rooftop and tower assets through both a development and acquisition-based strategy," Lendlease said, in a statement.

Since publishing the announcement, Lendlease has confirmed to a number of major U.S.-based news outlets that the JV will include Sprint's towers.

Lendlease and Softbank have each committed US$200 million in equity to the venture and will seek to add new capital partners in future, Lendlease said.

It explained that the initial $400 million will fund "the acquisition and strategic restructure of approximately 8,000 existing telecom sites, including rooftops and other structures," across the U.S., adding that "Lendlease Towers will target $5billion of telecom infrastructure assets over the medium term."

The agreement comes as the telecoms industry waits for an announcement from Sprint on a merger with T-Mobile US, and could be viewed as a precursor to such a deal.

As it stands, a merger announcement seems most likely to come alongside Sprint's or T-Mobile's next quarterly results presentation, a timeframe suggested by Bloomberg sources earlier this month. Neither company has set the date to share figures yet, but both will report either towards the end of October or in early November.

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