American Tower Corporation CEO Jim Taiclet speaks to Mad Money’s Jim Cramer about a report by Muddy Waters that says his company is “dramatically overvalued,” and allegations his firm overpaid on water towers in Brazil.
Video and transcript of AMT CEO below.
ill informed report, but there are some allegations in there wejust don’t believe we can let stand. our international business we’re very excited about, have been for years. we’ve been doing this now outside the u.s. for 12 years. beginning in mexico, then on to brazil, et cetera. those early latin american acquisitions and investments are our highest returning assets in the company now and we feel we can and are replicating that kind of performance in a number of countries around the worldtoday. so really unfounded, i think, the analysis, the report and our track record actually speaks for itself on this. well, i think that just because again i want to get their side, then your side.there’s a page called material misstatement page one, whichsays anticlaims attained $585 million in brazil, but financialstatements require say this was a 300 million purchase. we know exactly the facts are. with the sec, pulling out all the packs and this is a simple story. the $585 million acquisition wasfunded from two sources in brazil. one was intercompany debt which was to the central bank of brazil and one’s a portion ofour account and another part of the deal was financed and funded with equity internal american cash equity that was in adifferent part of the brazilian central bank. this company didn’t find or know about the equity contribution. it gets you the full amount and we have bank records that will provide the sec and anyone that would like to see them and other documentation that shows that the full amount of all the funds was indeed conveyed to the seller and we have confirmation. is he right?did they contact you ahead of time? no, we’ve never had anydirect communications with muddy waters personnel. they didn’t show you. just put it out and it’s wrong. the allegation of fraud is really — to us and it’s wildly and completely inaccurate and easily provable and we provided that proof, both to the public markets today and to the sec. here, they ran a picture of the firm they used to value the acquisition. i’ve learned not to judge a book by its cover, but the picture they have of this accounting firm does not look like somebody that jeffrey tate would using. i can tell you with full assurance that we had twou.s.-based accounting firms, who brazilian operationsparticipated in this acquisition and audited not this deal, but a full set of financial space. we used another of the big four firms to do the purchase accounting in brazil. their work was checked as well and we feel we got the best in the industry and the best in the world working with us on a professional basis. i don’t think that’s the way it’s building. how about this one? ceo’s consistent sales he receives, just a lack of faith ustainability of the business. ironically, this is a vu we share with him. that’s again wildly inaccurate. short of a misperception of narrow pieces of information about my stock position. i’ve got two-thirds or more of my net worth in the stock. as many ceos do, just the sort of standard selling plan as new options come in each year. sort of equalize that with some exercises and of course, those options you choose to exercise in any given year, you convert to cash in large part, so it’s just a misrepresentation in the way the stock plan works. which has been extensive overthe years and continues to be. i understand those. i’ve had similar programs myself. you have to pay your taxes and iunderstand it. net worth is what matters and how much and the percentage and i think you have been very forthcoming. thank you for coming on mad money. always good to do it, jim, and to be with you. thank you. if there’s an 8k filed with the government that says this is wrong, he gets in trouble if he writes an 8k that’s wrong and he isn’t going to do that. the accountants he mentioned are real accountants. you’ve got to draw your ownconclusion. i foupd that compelling, but you do the work. you look at the ap, the money orders, then you decide. back after the wraek.
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