American Tower, MTN Group to form joint venture

BOSTON (AP) — American Tower Corp. said Thursday that it has agreed to form a joint venture with South Africa's MTN Group that will create the single largest owner and operator of broadcast and wireless tower sites in Uganda.

The deal calls for American Tower to pay about $89 million for a 51 percent stake in the venture, dubbed ATC Uganda. Johannesburg's MTN Group will hold a 49 percent stake in the venture.

American Tower will manage ATC Uganda, which will acquire 1,000 tower sites from MTN Group subsidiary MTN Uganda for up to $175 million, the company said.

MTN Uganda will be the anchor tenant on each of the towers being acquired by ATC Uganda.

American Tower also expects that ATC Uganda will build roughly 280 tower sites for MTN Uganda over the next three years.

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of next year.

American Tower shares ended regular trading down $1.13 to $57.82 on Thursday.