(Reuters) - Telecommunications tower operator Crown Castle International Corp (CCI.N) said it would sell its Australian unit for about A$2 billion ($1.6 billion) in cash to a group of investors led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets.
Crown Castle owns a 77.6 percent stake in the unit - Crown Castle Australia - which claims to be the largest independent tower operator in Australia with a portfolio of about 1,800 sites.
Crown Castle said it expects to receive net proceeds of about $1.3 billion after accounting for debt and expenses.
The deal will add to Crown Castle’s long-term adjusted funds from operations (AFFO) and dividend growth but hurt the company’s full-year forecast.
The unit was expected to contribute about $58 million-$63 million to Crown Castle’s previously forecast AFFO of $1.45 billion-$1.47 billion.
The company said it expects to use a portion of the net proceeds from the deal to fund its purchase of fiber services provider Quanta Fiber Networks Inc for $1 billion, which it announced last month.
Quanta Fiber Networks Inc is owned by Quanta Services Inc (PWR.N).
The deal is expected to close during the second quarter of 2015, Crown Castle said.
Crown Castle shares rose 1 percent to $83.20 in early trading on Thursday.
Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee and Sai Sachin R in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty