US-based operator NII Holdings, which provides wireless services under the Nextel brand in a number of Latin American markets, has agreed to sell around 2,790 towers in Brazil and 1,666 in Mexico to American Tower Corporation in two separate transactions for a total of USD811 million. Under the terms of the deal, Nextel Brazil and Nextel Mexico agreed to lease back the towers from American Tower for a minimum twelve-year initial lease term and have the option to extend the lease for additional renewal periods. ‘We are excited to reach agreement with American Tower and achieve our goal of unlocking the value of a significant portion of our tower assets while raising additional liquidity,’ said Steve Shindler, CEO of NII Holdings, adding: ‘We will use the proceeds from the transactions to support the continuing investments in our next generation network (NGN) deployments in our largest markets, Brazil and Mexico, which we believe offer the best opportunity for value creation and long-term growth and profitability.’
The transactions are subject to regulatory approvals and the initial closings are expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2013. The initial closings are anticipated to include about 4,000 towers and will be followed by subsequent closings as certain requirements relating to the remaining towers are satisfied.