Cell C in $430m tower sell-off deal

2010-11-05 14:29

Johannesburg - Cell C on Friday said it has made an agreement to sell off 1 400 of its towers to American Tower Corporation for about $430m.

The deal includes up to 1 800 additional towers that are either under construction or will be constructed over the next two years.
The firm said Cell C will be the anchor tenant on each of the towers being purchased by American Tower, and that it expects to close the sale of the existing towers by early 2011, subject to customary closing conditions.

“We are pleased to announce the launch of our operations in South Africa, as well as the opportunity to work with Cell C,” said Jim Taiclet, chairperson, president and CEO of American Tower.

“We believe South Africa provides a compelling investment opportunity for us, with strong demand for voice and advanced wireless data services. In addition, our newly established presence in South Africa will provide us with a platform for our future growth in the region.”
Cell C CEO Lars Reichelt said: "This is an important strategic transaction for Cell C, allowing us to realise the value embedded in our passive infrastructure, which has undergone a significant transformation over the past few years. We believe our relationship with American Tower will enable us to further enhance the quality and coverage of our network."
American Tower is an owner, operator and developer of broadcast and wireless communications sites. It owns and operates about 33 000 communications sites in the US, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, India, Mexico and Peru.

 - Fin24

  • Chief Belebezule - 2010-11-05 15:51

    I guess this will benefit everyone including CellC subscribers and not only some big fat checks into other persons pockets and leaving us with dead end coverages. Bravo anyway, this is what we call 'going concern', we all witness the vast growth of your company with our naked eyes. Gents keep up the network, i'm beginning to like your business prowess and acumen!

  • Bob - 2010-11-05 16:15

    I think Cell C is doing this just because they want a cash inflow on their balance sheet, and because their Trevor Noah campaign failed.

  • David Blonder - 2010-11-06 05:06

    Well Done Cell-C. You must be proud. You have become a leader in our country. Finally woke up and challenged the big fat greedy MTN and Vodacom. It is about time for you to turn around and show us what a 3rd mobile operator can do to drive the prices, competition and now the amazing internet mobile broadband initiative. For once it has become affordable and FAST. You are serving this country and I will be your loyal client from this moment on. When the smaller get bigger, the whole country benefits. Bye Bye to the duopoly and expensive yet mediocre services of MTN and Voda !

  • Basjan - 2010-11-06 11:07

    Nobody will benefit from this as the majority of new towers will be imported from China. Cell C have chosen the route of importing cheap towers from China and ignoring the local market. I Work for a local company and Cell C did not even want us to tender for their roll-out.

  • Basjan - 2010-11-06 14:16

    I work in the tower manufacturing industry in SA and Cell C / ZTE are ignoring local companies and are instead opting for cheaper china towers. Hopefully if the Americans have to buy towers they will look at local content.

  • Nikki Nana - 2010-11-08 07:18

    Basjan, did you know Voda, Telkom and MTN import more from China than Cell-C ! you need to inform yourself my friend... And sorry if you lost the tender to American Towers, the largest and most prestigious tower company in the world. Well Done Cell-C. Keep going... I am loyal to those whoi challenmge and compete. Ultimately, we the customers, win.

  • Molobele - 2010-11-08 17:34

    American Towers? The Best Tower management company in the world ! Wow, good for you Cell-C. This company is gaining ground under this new management. First amazing Refinancing, then Better credit ratings, then Best Broadband accross the country, then a totally New image, I hear best Network is next with the strongest Indoor coverage... and under better efficiency with Tower Management by the Top Tower experts. I am all for you Cell-C boys. I will support you no matter what product you bring. I am sick and tired of the MTN and Vodacom's abuse to the loyal customers ! Telecom in SA is the most expensive in the world. And internet access is close to nothing compared to any other similar country. Why? abuse abuse abuse... Time for the new blood... and well done to all those who challenge that fat guys, whether Cell-C or others, the regulator should support such leadership that can lead the country closer to its pears. Telecom brings our nation tremendous benefits but today it still lacks the proper setup that makes us competitive and with affordable access to information... thanks to the abuse of the big fat boys! Go Cell-C Go !!!

  • garth carstens - 2010-11-14 17:51

    A unique inexpensive option to timely and costly erection of towers is to install signal transmitting equipment on billboards. Phone the guys at Copper Eagle Trading (T/A Wireless Africa). Telkom is using their billboards and surely this lends credibility to a solution that all wireless operators are looking for. Jan & Adriaan, keep up the good work!

  • Garth Carstens - 2010-11-14 17:57

    Very interesting however, their is a more cost effective and eco-friendly alternative to the costly and timely erection of towere - install signal transmitting equipment on billboards. The guys from Copper Eagle Trading (T/A Wireless Africa) have successfully implemented their model with Telkom, Altech Netstar and the likes. Well done Jan & Adriaan, perhaps the operators will pass on their savings to their clients.

  • matuzi@basjan - 2010-11-15 08:05

    worked for a tower fabricator too as a cost and management accountant. all i can tell you is, our manufacturing is still labour intensive and draughtsman who design towers are still lagging behind, designs are heavier and consume more steel and more expensive...overheads too high and investors too greedy. by the end of the day all this catapults to high costs that can only be recovered through higher selling price. Patriotism is good and we're trying. But, our production line needs to catch up with competition.

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