our leasing activity and then correspondingly the financial performance over the last few years.
Tower for tower's sake is not something interesting to us, but in Global Signal's case, as previously mentioned, they happen to have some more towers, actually a little more on a percentage basis in the top 100 and top 50 BTA’s than we did and so the combination otherwise improved from our shareholders' perspective ownership of towers in those particular locations. Then clearly the question was could we do a transaction that from our perspective was enhancing, additive from a financial perspective on a go forward basis?
The timing quite frankly was just simply that those stars aligned, and we were very excited to be able to realize this opportunity and be announcing it to you today.
We've always said euphemistically, and some of you have heard us say that, you don't get paid for the run rate, you get paid for the lease up. And if you think about it, quite simply we've doubled the leasing footprint in this pro forma new company with 32% dilution and that's pretty simple to understand.
I was just trying to understand the trigger. Was it more what Jerry was saying that this gives Global Signal the ability to accelerate the fixes on the back office, customer service side or was it Global Signal really triggering the process or was it Crown Castle looking to get bigger? Just trying to figure out what the ...
Rick, it's Jerry. We're obviously not going to get into the exact blow by blow on the discussions, but I can tell you from my perspective, and John and Ben can comment from their perspective, I know many of you on the call know me well and have followed me around for a while and you know that I'm a very simple guy and the one thing I always obsess over is growing free cash flow and free cash flow per share. Very simply from my perspective this was a way to accelerate the growth and improve the trajectory of the free cash flow growth at Global Signal and that, from my perspective, is as simple as it was.
The comment to Ben and John on any others out there in the wings if things align. If you look at equity value per tower, what are your thoughts on other transactions that might be out there or what would be the trigger to cause those to happen?
The one thing I would just simply say, jumping in on Ben, Ric, is I think what's important for us to do at this juncture is focus on getting this transaction to close which we estimate to be in the first quarter. Certainly if that can be advanced, we are interested in doing that, but currently suggesting some time in the first quarter.
Crown Castle International