(Reuters) - American Tower Corp (NYS:AMT) said it would buy privately held MIP Tower Holdings LLC, the parent of telecom tower operator Global Tower Partners, in a $4.8 billion (3 billion pounds) deal to take advantage of the roll-out of 4G wireless network in the United States.
American Tower shares were up about 3 percent in premarket trading as investors cheered the acquisition, the latest in a string of deals in the sector.
American Tower said it would pay about $3.3 billion in cash and assume about $1.5 billion of debt.
The deal will add about 15,700 towers in the United States and Costa Rica to American Tower's existing portfolio of 56,000 towers worldwide.
Tower companies are in a scramble to beef up their assets across the world as an explosive growth in data traffic is pushing carriers to spend heavily on upgrading their networks.
Major U.S. telecom companies such as AT&T Inc (NYS:T) and Verizon Communications Inc (NYS:VZ) have increased their spending budgets for the current year.
Global Tower, formed in 2003 by acquiring 187 towers from American Tower, is controlled by a consortium of funds managed by the Macquarie Group (ASX:MQG).
The latest deal comes a month after American Tower said it would acquire about 4,500 telecom towers in Brazil and Mexico from Latin American telecom service provider NII Holdings Inc (NIHD.O) for $811 million.
The deal is expected to immediately add to the company's adjusted funds from operations and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2013.
American Tower was advised by Goldman, Sachs & Co and EA Markets Securities LLC, while Global Tower's adviser was Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.
American Tower shares were up at $70.80 in premarket trading.
(Reporting by Chandni Doulatramani in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)