Sprint sells towers to TowerCo then signs lease deal

Concluding that it's a better idea to lease than own, Sprint Nextel has finalized the sale of about 3,080 towers to TowerCo for an estimated $670 million in cash. The sale may be final, but the number of towers and the final price are not, as both are subject to "post-close adjustment," Sprint said. Whatever the final figures, the sale provides a hefty cash infusion for the money-stressed carrier.

And it's not as if Sprint is abandoning the towers which it needs to run its CDMA, iDEN and WiMAX networks; it's just following a pattern already discovered by many car buyers turned leasers--leasing the towers back from TowerCo. and pocketing the cash.

A long-term lease, which the to companies also signed, is "a more efficient use of resources and allows us to focus more closely on our core business of providing communications services to our customers," said Bob Azzi, senior vice president of network services for Sprint Nextel in a company news release. "This deal also gives Sprint additional liquidity and greater flexibility in managing our business."

For more:
- see this release


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