Crown Castle seen as front runner for T-Mobile tower sale-report

July 31 Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:29pm EDT

July 31 (Reuters) - Cellphone tower operator Crown Castle International Corp has emerged as the lead bidder for the wireless broadcast towers that T-Mobile USA is trying to sell, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

A deal for more than $2 billion could be struck soon, the paper reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

However, rival bidders American Tower Corp. and Global Tower Partners were still in the running although talks with Crown Castle were more advanced but could still fail, the paper said.

None of the named bidders were immediately available for comment. T-Mobile declined to comment.

T-Mobile had previously said it would explore the sale of its 37,000 wireless towers in an effort to make the company more financially independent of its parent Deutsche Telekom after its attempt to sell T-Mobile USA to rival AT&T Inc failed last year due to regulatory opposition.

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