Tower deal turning iHeart from owner to renter


iHeartMediaVertical Bridge, a real estate firm focused on owning and operating communications towers, is going to take some off the hands of iHeartMedia and immediately become iHeart’s landlord for antenna space going forward.

The deal, involing what iHeart is calling :”a select portfolio of its radio towers,” is expected to close during the first quarter of 2015.

The value of the deal is $400,000,000.

iHeart stated, “There will be no impact on the company’s broadcast capabilities and operations; at closing, the company will enter into a lease with respect to the sold tower assets that will ensure the ability of its broadcast operations to continue without interruption. The company also advised that investors should expect incremental lease expense as a result of the transaction.”

“This is a great example of how we continue to optimize our balance sheet and maximize liquidity — and how we continually review our entire portfolio of assets to ensure we operate them in the most efficient way possible and invest our resources in the highest return opportunities,” said Richard J. Bressler, President and Chief Financial Officer of iHeartMedia, Inc.

“We are excited to add this high quality tower portfolio to our existing assets,” said Alexander L. Gellman, CEO of Vertical Bridge Holdings, LLC. “We are looking forward to a strong partnership with iHeartMedia. In addition to being a premier broadcast portfolio, these sites already have many broadband telephony and data tenants and the capacity and potential to add many more. With this latest transaction, Vertical Bridge now has approximately 2000 revenue producing sites that are owned or under definitive agreement.”