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02 November 2016
| James Pearce
Crown Castle International has agreed a $1.5 billion deal to buy FPL FiberNet and certain subsidiaries of NextEra Energy (collectively "FiberNet").
FiberNet delivers fibre services in Florida, Texas and parts
of South Central US, owning or having access to a network more
than 11,500 miles long.
Infrastructure firm Crown Castle owns, operates and leases
more than 40,000 wireless towers across the US and Puerto Rico,
working with the likes of AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and
Sprint. The agreement adds to its existing 16,500 miles of
fibre assets, which operates in more than 20 locations across
NextEra said it will use a portion of proceeds from the sale
to pay off around $370 million of FiberNet’s
long-term debt, with the agreement expected to close in the
first half of 2017.
"The addition of FiberNet’s complementary
footprint in top metro markets in South Florida and Texas
bolsters our fibre available for small cells in markets where
we see significant demand from our wireless carrier customers,"
said Jay Brown, Crown Castle’s chief executive
"As demand for wireless connectivity continues to grow,
small cells are playing an increasingly important role in
adding the network capacity and density needed to provide
ubiquitous high-speed, high-capacity wireless services.
With a long runway of expected growth ahead for small
cells, we believe our investment in FiberNet further
strengthens our leading position in small cells and will
enhance our long-term dividend growth."