TD Securities, Credit Suisse First Boston, Bank of New York and J.P. Morgan are seeking commitments on a $300 million, delayed-draw term loan add-on for American Tower and TD is also seeking commitments to expand the existing facility of its Mexican subsidiary, American Tower de Mexico. Ann Alter, spokeswoman, said American Tower has an option to increase its current $2 billion in credit facilities by a further $500 million. The delayed draw-term loan provides the option to use the cash, but it may not necessarily be tapped, Alter said.
Pricing on the new delayed-draw loan is LIBOR plus 4%, with a 1% step-up after a year. Every six months following, a 1/4% will be added. The structure is designed as an incentive to borrowers, and clearly there is an incentive for the company to refinance at some point, explained Alter. The Mexican subsidiary loan that is in place is $95 million and can grow to $140 million. This is being expanded so that $225 million is available, explained Alter. The proceeds will be used to finish build-to-suit contracts. These are towers to suit the needs of customers. The contracts have already been signed, she noted. There is no definitive timeline for the completion of the syndication process, she added. Pricing is also LIBOR plus 4%.
Moody's Investors Service recently downgraded the ratings on the secured credit facilities available to subsidiaries of Boston-based American Tower to B1 from Ba3, reflecting the higher-than-expected leverage of the borrowers. Asset coverage is weaker than Moody's had anticipated -- net debt per tower is expected to worsen over the medium-term as the company spends more capital to build and acquire additional towers. However, American Tower's core business of leasing space on its towers to wireless telecommunications carriers remains strong. Moody's expects American Tower's tower rental business to continue to grow revenues and cash flow. The credit facilities in place consist of a $650 million revolver, an $850 million multi-draw term loan "A," and a $500 million term loan "B," all maturing in 2007. The credit facilities are scheduled to amortize quarterly commencing in March 2003.