And now, the financial report....

Greg Galitzine : Greg Galitzine's VoIP Authority Blog
Greg Galitzine

And now, the financial report....

I can just hear the old-style ticker in the background (deet deeet deetde deet...) this just in...!

Crown Castle International Corp. has made an additional investment of $55 million in FiberTower Corporation, a privately-held provider of backhaul services.

FiberTower was a recent recipient of TMC Labs’ 2005 Innovation Award. You can see the full write-up in the July issue of Internet Telephony magazine.

According to John P. Kelly, President and Chief Executive Officer of Crown Castle, “…our additional investment in FiberTower, as part of a successful $150 million equity offering by FiberTower reflects our belief that there will be a significant demand for the backhaul solutions FiberTower provides to wireless carriers as the demand for additional wireless minutes of use increases. We remain focused on investing in opportunities that we believe will maximize long-term recurring cash flow per share and expanding the revenue sources on our towers."

FiberTower designs, deploys and operates radio-based backhaul networks for major wireless carriers. Commensurate with Crown Castle's investment, FiberTower has raised a total of $150 million through an equity offering, with investments from Oak Investment Partners and Affiliates, Tudor Investment Corp. and Affiliates, Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Meritech Capital Partners and Affiliates. In addition, Crown Castle signed an agreement with FiberTower to have leased space on at least 400 Crown Castle towers at the end of two years.

I understand that $150 million makes this the second highest investment announcement in our industry – second only to the $200 million raised by Vonage and announced this past May. 


Interesting. I just mentioned Madison River in an article I wrote this morning. Apparently their check to the FCC cleared, and S&P likes it! Actually I don’t know about that, but the ratings service did just raise Madison River’s credit rating. In any event, the release follows:


Madison River Telephone Co. LLC Bank Loan Rated 'B+'; Corporate Credit Rating Raised To 'B+'

NEW YORK (Standard & Poor's) July 14, 2005--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that it raised its corporate credit rating on Mebane, N.C.-based Madison River Telephone Co. LLC (Madison River) to 'B+' from 'B'. All other ratings for Madison and its related entities, Madison River Capital LLC and Madison River Finance Corp., also were raised. At the same time, we assigned a 'B+' rating to Madison River Capital LLC's $525 million of secured bank facilities, including a $75 million revolving credit and a $450 million term loan B. A '4' recovery rating was also assigned to these bank loans, indicating prospects for recovery of 25% to 50% of principal in a payment default. The bank loan rating is based on preliminary information, subject to receipt of final bank loan documents.

The outlook is stable. Madison River is a rural local exchange carrier (RLEC) with a very modest sized competitor local exchange carrier (CLEC) business.

Proceeds of the new bank facilities will be used primarily to repay debt.

Ratings for holding company Madison River Communications Corp. have been withdrawn. This entity was formed for the planned initial public equity offering which this bank financing is currently replacing. Pro forma for the refinancing, Madison River will have about $594 million of total debt and preferred stock outstanding as of June 30, 2005.

"The upgrade is based on the company's good operating performance in the last year, especially its success in marketing DSL and limiting access line losses, despite an increasingly competitive business environment," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Catherine Cosentino. The company's nearly ubiquitous DSL footprint has helped it achieve a residential DSL penetration of primary residential access lines well above its peers, at 34% as of March 31, 2005.

The company's access-line losses totaled 2.5% for 2004, and 3.3% on a year-over-year basis as of March 31, 2005. While these levels are only average for the rural local exchange carrier industry, they include a significant amount of losses because of damage from a hurricane in late 2004, much of which are expected to eventually return to service. Excluding hurricane related losses, the year over year access line decline was a modest 1.7% as of March 31, 2005.

These characteristics provide a degree of revenue and EBITDA stability.

Complete ratings information is available to subscribers of RatingsDirect, Standard & Poor's Web-based credit analysis system, at All ratings affected by this rating action can be found on Standard & Poor's public Web site under Credit Ratings in the left navigation bar, select Find a Rating, then Credit Ratings Search.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Featured Events