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Fitch IBCA Rates Crown Castle Bank Loans.



NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 9, 1999--

Fitch IBCA IBCA International Braille Chess Association
IBCA Institute of Burial and Cremation Administration
IBCA Integrated Business Communications Alliance
IBCA International Barbeque Cookers Association
IBCA Department of Interior Board of Contract Appeals
 has assigned its 'BB-' rating for the Crown Communications Inc. (CCI CCI Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie (France)
CCI CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) Citation Index
CCI Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Western Australia) 
) and Crown Castle International Corp. de Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (pwār`tō rē`kō), island (2005 est. pop. 3,917,000), 3,508 sq mi (9,086 sq km), West Indies, c.1,000 mi (1,610 km) SE of Miami, Fla.  (CCI Puerto Rico) $100 million senior secured credit facility, maturing 2004, and its 'BB-' rating for the Crown Castle/Bell Atlantic Mobile joint venture's $250 million senior secured credit facility, maturing 2006.

In addition, Fitch IBCA reaffirms its 'B' rating on Crown Castle International Corp.'s (CCIC CCIC Canadian Council for International Cooperation
CCIC Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics
CCIC Colorado Crime Information Center
CCIC Consolidated Contractors International Company
CCIC Committee On Computing, Information, and Communications
) $150 million senior notes offering, maturing 2011, and its 'B' rating on the company's $300 million senior discount notes offering, due 2011. Fitch IBCA also affirms its 'CCC+' rating on CCIC's outstanding 12.75% senior exchangeable preferred stock Stock shares that have preferential rights to dividends or to amounts distributable on liquidation, or to both, ahead of common shareholders.

Preferred stock is given preference over common stock. Holders of preferred stock receive dividends at a fixed annual rate.
, due 2010.

The ratings reflect CCIC's strong position within the communications tower industry, the diversified diversified (di·verˑ·s  tower portfolio that will be created upon completion of several announced transactions with wireless operators, the quality of the company's customer base, the continued growth in consumer demand for wireless product, and an experienced management team.

Fitch IBCA's ratings also acknowledge concern over growing competition within the tower industry, the continued need for access to capital to finance the expansion of CCIC's footprint, uncertainty over the company's ability to successfully lease-up its towers, and the company's high leverage. In addition to the above, the bank loan ratings also reflect the senior secured nature of each of the bank facilities.

The $100 million facility for CCI and CCI Puerto Rico is secured by substantially all assets of the borrowers including the transmission towers and leases. The security package for the $250 million facility for the Crown Castle/Bell Atlantic Mobile joint venture excludes the transmission towers but retains security interests in the membership interests and leases.

Transactions recently announced by CCIC with Bell Atlantic Mobile, BellSouth, and Powertel will contribute 811 towers to the existing 690 U.S. towers currently owned or managed by the company. These acquisitions will provide the company with a significant footprint in the southeastern portion of the U.S. as well as securing Bell Atlantic Mobile, BellSouth, and Powertel as anchor tenants at attractive lease rates for no less than 10-year terms. With the completion of these transactions, consolidated pro forma As a matter of form or for the sake of form. Used to describe accounting, financial, and other statements or conclusions based upon assumed or anticipated facts.

The phrase pro forma
 leverage (pro forma total debt to EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) A metric used to show a company's profitability, but not its cash flow. EBITDA became popular in the 1980s to show the potential profitability of leveraged buyouts, but has become ) will be 7.4 times (x) with interest coverage (EBITDA to interest expense) at approximately 1.4x.

Fitch IBCA will continue to monitor the company's ability to absorb additional towers while implementing appropriate controls. Future focus will be directed toward same-tower sales performance, tower co-location results and lease rate performance versus projections. Fitch IBCA will also focus on the strategy and synergies behind additional acquisitions made by the company.

The senior secured bank loan ratings reflect the security packages associated with each of the facilities. It is the opinion of Fitch IBCA that, due to the factors highlighted above, the company would be a likely candidate for reorganization rather than liquidation The collection of assets belonging to a debtor to be applied to the discharge of his or her outstanding debts.

A type of proceeding pursuant to federal Bankruptcy
 should default occur. Fitch IBCA used several valuation models in order to determine the enterprise value of this franchise and examined these values under stressed circumstances CIRCUMSTANCES, evidence. The particulars which accompany a fact.
     2. The facts proved are either possible or impossible, ordinary and probable, or extraordinary and improbable, recent or ancient; they may have happened near us, or afar off; they are public or
. Fitch IBCA believes that, even in a distressed environment, the enterprise value associated with these operations provides significant coverage for the senior secured facilities.

CCIC, headquartered in Houston, TX, is a leading owner and operator of tower sites in the U.S. The company's European subsidiary, Castle Transmission International, is the U.K.'s largest independently owned operator of tower transmission sites that are used in the provision of analog and digital broadcast services to the British Broadcasting Corporation (company) British Broadcasting Corporation - (BBC) The non-commercial UK organisation that commissions, produces and broadcasts television and radio programmes.

The BBC commissioned the "BBC Micro" from Acorn Computers for use in a television series about using computers.
 and other commercial broadcasters.
COPYRIGHT 1999 Business Wire
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Date:Jul 9, 1999
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