Houston, Texas-based Crown Castle (NYSE: CCI) said it agreed to acquire fiber-optic network FPL FiberNet Holdings LLC and certain related assets from Juno Beach, Florida-based NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE) for $1.5 billion in cash.
FPL FiberNet offers fiber-optic solutions for businesses, public sector government and educational organizations, and national wholesale and wireless carriers. The company’s service portfolio includes customized Ethernet and Dedicated Internet Access, direct-to-cloud connections, security and DDoS mitigation services.
“The addition of FiberNet’s complementary footprint in top metro markets in South Florida and Texas bolsters our fiber available for small cells in markets where we see significant demand from our wireless carrier customers,” said Crown Castle’s chief executive Jay Brown.
Crown Castle is the nation’s largest provider of shared wireless infrastructure with 40,000 towers and 17,000 miles of fiber supporting small cells, and a significant presence in the top 100 U.S. markets.
FPL FiberNet owns or has rights to 11,500 route miles of fiber installed and under construction in Florida and Texas, inclusive of 6,000 route miles of fiber in top metro markets.
After the closing, Crown Castle expects to own or have rights to 28,500 route miles of fiber.
Crown Castle expects the deal to close in the first half of 2017 and to be immediately accretive to Adjusted Funds from Operations (AFFO).
NextEra Energy Inc. is a leading clean energy company with consolidated revenues of approximately $17.5 billion and approximately 14,300 employees in 27 states and Canada as of year-end 2015, as well as approximately 45,000 megawatts of generating capacity, which includes megawatts associated with noncontrolling interests related to NextEra Energy Partners LP (NYSE: NEP) as of April 2016.
NextEra Energy’s principal subsidiaries are Florida Power & Light Co. (FPL), which serves more than 4.8 million customer accounts in Florida and is one of the largest rate-regulated electric utilities in the United States, and NextEra Energy Resources LLC, which is the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun.