NII Holdings, American Tower Announce Deal for Sale, Leaseback of Nearly 4,500 Towers, Valued at $811M
NII Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: NIHD), a provider of differentiated mobile communication services operating under the Nextel brand in Latin America, today announced it has agreed to sell approximately 2,790 towers in Brazil and 1,666 towers in Mexico to American Tower Corporation (NYSE: AMT) in two separate transactions for total estimated proceeds based on current foreign currency exchange rates of $413 million and $398 million, respectively, subject to certain adjustments, including adjustments based on the actual number of towers sold. Both Nextel Brazil and Nextel Mexico agreed to leaseback the towers from American Tower for a minimum 12-year initial lease term and have the option to extend the lease for additional renewal periods. NII International Telecom S.C.A, a subsidiary of NII based in Luxembourg, has agreed to provide certain credit support with respect to the obligations of Nextel Brazil. The transaction agreements provide that all payments, including the purchase price and site rental, will be made in local currencies. As a result, the estimated U.S. dollar denominated proceeds amounts are subject to changes in value of the local currencies relative to the U.S. dollar.
"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, chief executive officer of NII Holdings. "We will use the proceeds from the transactions to support the continuing investments in our next generation network 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 expected to include about 4,000 towers and will be followed by subsequent closings as certain closing requirements relating to the remaining towers are satisfied.
NII's service coverage and next generation deployment plans will not be affected by this transaction. The Company will continue to locate its network equipment on the towers and will have additional space available for technology evolution.
The Company expects that a majority of the assets sold and leased-back will be accounted for as capital leases. As a result, the transactions are expected to have a positive impact to OIBDA, but are not expected to materially impact 2013 results.
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