American Tower Sells Minority Stake in Data Center Portfolio to Stonepeak for $2.5B

by John Nelson

BOSTON AND NEW YORK CITY — American Tower Corp. (NYSE: AMT), a multitenant communications REIT, has agreed to sell a 29 percent stake in its data center platform to Stonepeak, an alternative asset management firm based in New York City. The deal, which comprises common and preferred equity from Stonepeak’s affiliated investment vehicles and debt commitments, is valued at $2.5 billion.

The AMT data center portfolio consists of 27 data centers in 10 U.S. markets. AMT purchased Denver-based CoreSite Realty Corp. in a $10.1 billion deal that was announced last November.

Pictured is a server room at a CoreSite data center in Fairfax County, Virginia.

AMT will retain managerial and operational control, as well as day-to-day oversight of its U.S. data center business, and Stonepeak will obtain certain governance rights. The transaction is expected to close in third-quarter 2022, subject to customary closing conditions.

“We are pleased to partner with Stonepeak in our U.S. data center business,” says Tom Bartlett, president and CEO of American Tower. “While this transaction supports the equity financing component for our previously completed CoreSite acquisition, it also creates a platform through which growth opportunities can be strategically evaluated and financed.”

Andrew Thomas, managing director and co-head of communications at Stonepeak, says that AMT’s data center platform aligns with Stonepeak’s digital infrastructure strategy. Both Bartlett and Thomas say the firms plan to grow the data center platform in the coming years as part of a long-term strategic partnership.

AMT’s advisors on the deal for include financial services firms J.P. Morgan and CDX Advisors and legal counselors Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP and Sullivan & Worcester LLP. Stonepeak’s advisors include financial consultant MUFG Bank Ltd. and legal firm Sidley Austin LLP.

Boston-based American Tower is an owner, operator and developer of multitenant communications real estate such as cell phone towers with a portfolio of approximately 221,000 communications sites, as well as its portfolio of data centers.

AMT’s stock price closed on Monday, July 11 at $257.99 per share, down from $279.99 a year ago, an 8.5 percent decline.

Stonepeak is an alternative investment firm specializing in infrastructure and real estate assets with approximately $49.3 billion of assets under management. The company’s target sectors include communications, energy transition, transportation, logistics and social infrastructure. Stonepeak is headquartered in New York with offices in Austin, Hong Kong, Houston, London and Sydney.

— John Nelson

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