ABS-Backed Tower Co. Adds 37 More Towers

Tarpon Towers, an acquirer and developer of wireless communications sites backed by ABS Capital Partners, has completed the acquisition of 37 tower sites, bringing its total to more than 75 towers. The company received additional capital for the deal from ABS Capital Partners and an additional debt commitment from its bank. Terms were not disclosed.


Tarpon Towers, an acquirer and developer of wireless communications sites, today announced it had completed a 37 tower acquisition and now owns over 75 towers. With the company’s current backlog of tower builds and committed acquisitions, the company expects to own approximately 100 towers by year end. To support the company’s growth, Tarpon received additional capital from ABS Capital Partners, a leading later-stage growth company investor, and an additional debt commitment from its bank. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

“We are pleased to add these towers to our high quality tower portfolio,” said CEO Ron Bizick. “With mobile devices evolving into portable offices and entertainment centers, there will be no slow down in demand for expanded coverage as wireless providers continue to upgrade their networks to keep up with this need.”

According to CTIA, wireless voice usage, measured by total minutes of use (MOUs), grew by approximately 15% to over two trillion in 2008 and is projected to continue to grow due to: (i) growth in wireless subscribers as mobile device penetration rates increase to over 90%, (ii) continued landline substitution, (iii) unlimited and family calling plans and (iv) increasing wireless data usage (iPhone, Blackberry, e-book readers). New technologies (3G, 4G, LTE and WiMax), will place more voice, video, picture, multimedia messaging, mobile applications and web browsing capabilities in the hands of the consumer, thus continued significant wireless voice and data traffic and revenue growth is expected. As more people use cellular telephones and other wireless devices more frequently, the need for additional cell sites will continue to grow so carriers can maintain a high quality of service, performance, speed and reliability.

Tarpon’s communications tower portfolio currently includes towers in Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Texas, Michigan, Connecticut, New York and California with additional sites in development and under letter or purchase agreement throughout the eastern and northeastern US. Tarpon plans to continue to work with local tower owners and developers as it expands.

“We’re pleased with Tarpon’s ability to work fairly with sellers and get deals done quickly,” said ABS Capital General Partner Deric Emry. “This is a very experienced and effective management team. We’ve worked with Ron and Bill before and are pleased to have the opportunity to work with them again. Furthermore, we think this is an interesting time to build a mid-size, independent tower company.”

About Tarpon Towers
Tarpon Towers is a wireless communications infrastructure company focused on the acquisition and development of wireless communication towers. The management team has combined experience in acquiring over 8,000 sites, raising and investing over $3 billion in capital and building over 3,000 towers. Management has also held executive positions at numerous companies in the wireless industry such as Global Signal, Inc, SBA Communications, Spectrasite Communications, Sprint, and Clearwire. For more information, please visit www.tarpontowers.com.
About ABS Capital Partners
ABS Capital Partners invests in the very best later-stage growth companies, partnering with CEOs to create a bridge to the next critical stage of success. Whether success is defined as a winning IPO like American Public Education, NeuStar, and Rosetta Stone or a rewarding sale such as US Labs, Course Advisor and Advanced Disposal, ABS Capital’s financial backing and active partnership supports the CEO in tackling the challenges of rapid growth and creating significant long-term value.

Founded in 1990, our partners are highly experienced at working with growth companies – each having spent between one and three decades in their industry as C-level executives, investment bankers and investors.

ABS Capital Partners specializes in four growth sectors—business services, healthcare, media and communications, and technology. With over $2 billion raised since inception, including $420 million in our latest fund, ABS Capital continues to build on its strong reputation for teaming with market leaders to deliver strong returns to investors.