HOUSTON -- Crown Castle International Corp. (NYSE:CCI) (“Crown Castle”) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire FPL FiberNet Holdings, LLC and certain other subsidiaries of NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NEE) (collectively, “FiberNet”) for approximately $1.5 billion in cash (subject to certain limited adjustments). FiberNet is a fiber services provider that owns or has rights to approximately 11,500 route miles of fiber installed and under construction in Florida and Texas, inclusive of approximately 6,000 route miles of fiber in top metro markets. Pro forma for the proposed acquisition, Crown Castle will own or have rights to approximately 28,500 route miles of fiber.
“The addition of FiberNet’s complementary footprint in top metro markets in South Florida and Texas bolsters our fiber 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.”
Crown Castle expects the acquisition to close in the first half of 2017 and to be immediately accretive to Adjusted Funds from Operations (“AFFO”) per share upon closing. In the first year of Crown Castle’s ownership, the transaction is expected to contribute approximately $105 to $110 million to gross margin and approximately $15 to $20 million of general and administrative expenses. Additionally, the transaction includes approximately $5 million in annual cash flows associated with a customer lease that will be accounted for as a financing lease and therefore not contribute to the expected gross margin. Supplemental materials related to the transaction have been posted on the Crown Castle website at http://investor.crowncastle.com.
ABOUT CROWN CASTLE
Crown Castle provides wireless carriers with the infrastructure they need to keep people connected and businesses running. With approximately 40,000 towers and 17,000 miles of fiber supporting small cells, Crown Castle is the nation's largest provider of shared wireless infrastructure with a significant presence in the top 100 U.S. markets.
Cautionary Language Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements that are based on Crown Castle management’s expectations. Such statements include plans, projections and estimates regarding (1) the anticipated FiberNet acquisition, including timing, (2) potential benefits of the FiberNet acquisition, including with respect to Crown Castle’s competitive position, the impact on dividends and the contribution to or impact on Crown Castle’s financial or operating results, including AFFO per share, revenues, gross margin, and general and administrative expenses, (3) Crown Castle’s fiber assets, (4) the role of and demand for small cells, (5) wireless carrier network deployments, investment and expenditures, (6) mobile data demand and growth and (7) demand for, potential growth of and opportunities which may be derived from the FiberNet assets. Such forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including prevailing market conditions and other factors. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those expected. More information about potential risk factors that could affect Crown Castle and its results is included in Crown Castle’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The term “including,” and any variation thereof, means “including, without limitation.”