Crown Castle agrees $1.5bn acquisition of FiberNet

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 the country.

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 officer. 

"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."

Topics: Crown Castle, Fibernet, NextEra, USA, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, fibre