BOCA RATON, FLA. — The nation’s largest private owner and operator of communications infrastructure and locations has completed its second successful securitization of 2020.
Vertical Bridge issued $360.5 million of Secured Tower Revenue Notes in a private asset-backed securitization.
It follows the June issuance by Vertical Bridge of $534 million of secured tower revenue notes — the first securitization of an “esoteric asset” in what was the ABS market’s shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since 2016, the Palm Beach County, Fla.-based tower company has completed six securitizations and issued more than $1.7 billion of secured tower revenue notes.
Proceeds from the transaction will be used to refinance Vertical Bridge’s October 2016 securitization, fund its recently announced acquisition of Cumulus Media’s broadcast tower portfolio and fuel company growth.
In fact, the Notes are collateralized by 636 broadcast tower sites across 47 states, the vast majority of which are tenanted by Cumulus Media and iHeartMedia.
The Verital Bridge portfolio includes more than 380 sites that Vertical Bridge acquired from iHeartMedia in connection with a sale-leaseback transaction in 2015 and more than 200 sites which Vertical Bridge recently agreed to acquire from and lease back to Cumulus Media.
“Our broadcast portfolio has grown steadily and performed well since acquiring the iHeartMedia towers and adding the Cumulus Media sites to our portfolio further broadens and diversifies this segment of our business,” said Alex Gellman, Vertical Bridge’s Co-Founder and CEO. “Broadcast towers are mission critical for our radio operating partners, as iHeartMedia and Cumulus Media both demonstrated through their respective restructurings – affirming leases and rents. With over 60% of each company’s stations on Vertical Bridge-owned towers, we view both iHeartMedia and Cumulus Media as strategic partners and are thrilled by the strong and rapid recovery of each from the impacts of COVID-19, as well as their strong outlook going forward.”