Right Of First Refusals and Your Cell Tower Lease-What Are You Truly Giving Up?

Many cell phone carriers and cell tower companies are making the Right of First Refusal (“ROFR”) a standard provision in their lease agreements and extensions today. This is due to the entry of third party companies like Unison, Wireless Capital Partners, AP Wireless, and other like companies looking to purchase the landowners’ rights under a cell tower or roof top lease.

A ROFR provision usually means that in the event a landowner receives an offer to purchase his or her property, the cell phone carrier or cell tower company has the right of first refusal to purchase the property on the same terms and conditions as the offer.

Vertical Consultants can assist a landowner in making sure that he or she fully understands the parameters of the ROFR being presented for approval and in some case make sure its impact is nominal on your property  The following are some questions that need to be answered to properly evaluate the impact of such provision:

  1. What is the “true reason” that the ROFR is being requested by the cell phone carrier or the cell tower company?
  2. How does the ROFR impact long-term and short-term plans for the subject location and how can I limit this impact?
  3. To what extent do the restrictions imposed by the ROFR limit the ability to sell the property and does this restriction diminish the value of the location?
  4. What is a reasonable amount of time for a cell phone carrier or cell tower company to review and match any offer to purchase the property and what other condition should the landowner require of the cell tower company?
  5. Should a ROFR be limited only to certain circumstances and only to certain parties that make an offer on a landowner’s site?
  6. If a cell phone carrier or cell tower company exercises a ROFR, how much time should they be allowed to close on the purchase and what remedies should a landowner have if the cell tower company fails to do so?

Vertical Consultants has assisted many clients to both interpret and negotiate ROFR provisions to make sure that such provisions, if accepted, do not negatively impact the overall property. Vertical Consultants welcomes the opportunity to work with you in making sure you make the right decision when approached with this issue.

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