American Tower Said to Agree to $1 Billion Purchase of BR Towers

Jun 15, 2014 9:08 am ET

June 14 (Bloomberg) -- American Tower Corp. agreed to buy Brazilian mobile-phone infrastructure company BR Towers SA and plans to make an announcement on June 16, three people with knowledge of the matter said.

American Tower, based in Boston, will pay about $1 billion, said the people, who asked not to be named because the transaction is still private. Deutsche Bank AG managed the sale for Sao Paulo-based BR Towers, which is backed by Banco Bradesco SA’s private-equity unit and GP Investments Ltd., they said.

The sale of BR Towers is part of a boom in telecommunications asset sales in Latin America’s biggest market that could raise more than $4 billion. U.S. tower companies are betting that wireless providers in Brazil will need more capacity as consumers increasingly switch to smartphones and demand faster Internet access.

In another potential sale, Grupo TorreSur, owned by Providence Equity Partners LLC, is working with Credit Suisse Group AG to find a U.S. buyer, another person said this month. That sale could fetch about $2 billion, according to the person.

Separately, Tim Participacoes SA, the mobile-phone provider owned by Telecom Italia SpA, has hired Morgan Stanley for its own sale of towers for about $1 billion, people familiar with the matter said last month.

BR Towers was pitched as an acquisition target to Crown Castle International Corp. and SBA Communications Corp., a person said earlier this month. Private-equity firms also were looking at BR Towers, the person said.

Officials for American Tower, Bradesco and GP Investments declined to comment. A representative of Deutsche Bank didn’t reply to an e-mail seeking comment.

--With assistance from Christiana Sciaudone in Sao Paulo.