Cell Tower Lease Buyout Valuation

Tower owners and ground owners alike are being contacted by third party lease buyout companies with offers to purchase long term rights for their collocation leases or for their ground leases. If you have been contacted by a lease buyout company to sell your lease, you should consider the following issues related to the sale of your leases. These issues differ considering the type of lease you have.

If you own the tower and you are leasing space to wireless carriers on the tower via a collocation lease, SteelTree believes that it rarely makes sense to sell the leases from the tower. In those rare cases, you are likely better off just selling the tower itself. It is very unlikely that third party lease buyout companies are going to be willing to offer you more for the sale of the individual leases than what a tower company would for the sale of the tower. Furthermore, by selling the leases separately, you as the tower owner still have the liability of the future expenses for maintenance, any ground lease, and utilities. In rare situations, it might make sense to sell a lease separately if a tower owner needs the funds to continue developing other towers but doesn’t have access to capital otherwise. Please feel free to call us for a free initial consultation and we can gladly discuss your situation in greater detail and let you know if and how we can help.

If you own the ground under the tower and are leasing the land to the carrier, you likely have already been contacted by numerous entities all looking to purchase a perpetual easement under your lease. These companies seek to pay you a lump sum for the purchase of your lease interests. Unlike the tower owner referenced in the paragraph above, there may not be other options should you want to sell your cell tower lease. If you are looking for unbiased guidance on whether you should sell your lease to one of these third parties, or if you have decided to sell and are just trying to confirm whether the offer you have received is as high as you can get, please see Steel in the Air’s page on cell tower lease buyouts. Steel in the Air is a consulting firm that specializes in cell tower lease buyouts and other lease related issues.