Azteca gets $120 mil loan

American Tower gains foothold in Mexico

BOSTON — American Tower Corp. said Monday that it has agreed to loan up to $120 million to Mexico’s TV Azteca in exchange for use of about 200 broadcast towers which American Tower will use to gain a foothold in Mexico.

In exchange for the loan, TV Azteca make annual net payments of about $13.9 million to American Tower, while the latter receives the rights to all existing and future third-party revenue on the towers.

Located throughout Mexico, the towers, which cover about 95% of the population, can accommodate additional broadcast antennas as well as cellular, PCS, paging, microwave back-haul and other telecommunications providers.

“This is an exciting deal for American Tower as it provides us with a significant foundation upon which to establish ourselves in Mexico, and it represents our first significant foray outside of the U.S.,” said American Tower chief exec Steve Dodge.

TV Azteca said it will use the revenue generated by the deal to repay short-term debt.

Including this deal and other pending transactions, American Tower operates about 9,400 towers in the U.S. and Mexico, including more than 8,300 owned or leased towers and over 1,100 managed sites.