Unison is in the market with a $147 million cellular tower securitization, according to a presale report published today by Fitch Ratings.

Unison Ground Lease Funding 2013-1 notes are backed by 612 cellular tower sites with 642 structures leased to 784 cellular tower tenants, according to the report. The notes are interest only until the anticipated repayment date, March 15, 2020.

Deutsche Bank Securities is the lead underwriter.

Fitch assigned an ‘A’ rating to the $93 million senior Class A tranche and a ‘BB’ rating to the $31 million Class B tranche. There are also two unrated tranches totaling $18 million.

Proceeds from the notes will be used to refinance existing indebtedness and to acquire additional cellular sites, some of which will be used as collateral for this deal. On the closing date, approximately 24% of the proceeds will be deposited into a special account and used to fund acquisitions over the next 12 months.

Fitch noted that the prefunding introduces uncertainty as to final collateral characteristics.

The deal comes on the heels of a much larger transaction from American Tower, which sold $1.8 billion of bonds backed by cellular tower leases last week. The five-year tranche paid a fixed rate of 1.551%.

Unison is a small private company with private equity owners. It was formed in 2003 with an initial investment from TowerBrook Capital Partners. In June 2009, TowerBrook and American Securities provided an additional equity investment.

In 2010, Unison issued, and Fitch rated, two prior securitizations, Unison Ground Lease Funding, LLC Secured Cellular Site Revenue Notes, Series 2010-1 and 2010-2, totaling $196 million.

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