New Deals

Lawyers on Major Transactions

New York Law Journal

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Cravath, S&C and Byran Cave Tapped for $4.85 Billion Cellphone Tower Deal

– Tom Huddleston Jr.

AT&T has agreed to lease 9,100 of its cellphone towers to Crown Castle International Corporation and sell 600 of the units outright to the Houston-based tower operator for a combined total of $4.85 billion in cash, the telecommunications giant said Sunday.

AT&T says the lease rights run for an average of 28 years, and that the company has agreed to sublease back the towers' wireless capacity from Crown Castle for at least 10 years. The deal also gives Crown Castle the right to purchase the towers for about $4.2 billion once the leases expire.

Crown Castle, the country's largest wireless infrastructure operator, will control roughly 40,000 towers once the deal with AT&T closes—which is expected to happen in the fourth quarter.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore is advising Crown Castle with an all New York-team. Corporate partners Stephen Burns, Erik Tavze and Johnny Skumpija are leading the way on the deal. Tax partner Andrew Needham is also advising. Associates are Christopher Fargo and Rachel Kiwi, tax; and Benjamin Hewitt, Jared Taylor and Curtis Weber, corporate.

Cravath also advised Crown Castle in obtaining $3.4 billion of committed financing for the agreement with AT&T. Partners Burns and Skumpija represented the company in connection with the financing, along with corporate partner George Zobitz, senior attorney Christopher Kelly and associate John Duffy.

E. Blake Hawk serves as Crown Castle's general counsel.

Sullivan & Cromwell, meanwhile, is acting as lead counsel to longtime client AT&T on the sale of the cellphone towers. The mostly New York-based team includes corporate partners Joseph Frumkin, Arthur Adler and Anthony Colletta, along with corporate associates Ralston Turbeville Jr., Zachary Jacobs, Stephen Pratt, Adam Sofen, Rebecca Crosby and Jacob Elghanayan. Financing partner Robert Downes and environmental special counsel Matthew Brennan are also advising. Corporate partner Eric Krautheimer and corporate associates Jason Anderson and Grace Shen are working on the deal from Los Angeles

Bryan Cave partners Daniel Cullen in Chicago and Philip Wright in St. Louis are providing AT&T with tax advice.

AT&T's general counsel is Wayne Watts.

Five Firms Help Create Auto Parts Giant

– Brian Baxter

A handful of firms are advising on a $2.04 billion all-cash deal that will see Advance Auto Parts acquire privately held rival General Parts International in a takeover bid that will create North America's largest auto parts retailer.

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