HOUSTON, Jan. 6, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Crown Castle International Corp. (NYSE:CCI) today announced that Crown Castle has commenced operating as a Real Estate Investment Trust ("REIT") effective January 1, 2014. Crown Castle received an opinion dated December 31, 2013 from each of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, which firms advised Crown Castle on its REIT conversion, that Crown Castle will qualify as a REIT as of January 1, 2014. About Crown Castle Crown Castle owns, operates and leases towers and other infrastructure for wireless communications. Crown Castle offers significant wireless communications coverage to all of the top 100 US markets and to substantially all of the Australian population. Crown Castle owns, operates and manages over 40,000 and approximately 1,700 wireless communication sites in the US and Australia, respectively. For more information on Crown Castle, please visit www.crowncastle.com . Cautionary Language Regarding Forward-Looking Statements This press release contains forward-looking statements that are based on management's current expectations. Such statements include Crown Castle's plans, projections and estimates regarding (i) its intention to operate as a REIT and (ii) its intention to pursue certain steps and corporate actions in connection with its operation as a REIT. Such forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including prevailing market conditions and the following:
- Crown Castle expects to elect to qualify as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes for the taxable year commencing January 1, 2014. If Crown Castle fails to elect REIT status for the taxable year commencing January 1, 2014, the next earliest date on which Crown Castle can elect REIT status would be for the taxable year commencing January 1, 2015.
- REIT qualification involves the application of highly technical and complex provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, to Crown Castle's operations, as well as various factual determinations concerning matters and circumstances not entirely within Crown Castle's control. While Crown Castle plans to operate in a manner consistent with REIT qualification rules, Crown Castle cannot give assurance that it will so qualify or remain so qualified.
- Changes in legislation or the federal tax rules can adversely impact Crown Castle's ability to elect REIT status or the benefits of being a REIT.