Marketing assets

Vodafone NZ sells tower assets for $1.5bn

Telecommunications company Vodafone New Zealand will sell its tower assets for NZ$1.7 billion ($1.5 million) to infrastructure investors Northleaf Capital and InfraRed Partners.

The deal would form a new company, TowerCo. Things reports that TowerCo would own 1,484 mobile towers, making it the largest operator in the country, covering 98% of New Zealand’s population.

Vodafone NZ jointly owned by a group of shareholders Infratil and Brookfield Asset Management, according to reports. As part of the transaction, Infratil will reinvest to own 20% in the new TowerCo.

“We have unlocked a significant portion of the value of our initial capital invested in Vodafone while retaining this investment and a 20% stake in TowerCo. InfraRed Capital Partners and Northleaf Capital are high caliber investors who share our vision of what the new TowerCo can deliver across New Zealand. The transaction is a win-win situation for Infratil shareholders,” said Infratil CEO Jason Boyes.

“This partnership will improve site choices for wireless operators in New Zealand while supporting a strong return on our capital invested in Vodafone NZ three years ago,” said the managing director of Brookfield Asset Management. Udhay Mathialagan.

Each of the new purchasers will hold a 40% stake in the new TowerCo.

According Daily IT Newsthe transaction is subject to the approval of the NZ Overseas Investment Office.

If the government agency gives the green light to the deal, TowerCo will enter into a 20-year service agreement with Vodafone NZ, providing access to existing and new towers. TowerCo will also commit to building at least 390 additional sites over the next 10 years to improve Vodafone’s coverage.

The owners
Infrared is a global investment firm, managing more than 220 infrastructure projects in 17 countries with US$12 billion ($17 billion) of equity under management in private and listed funds, according to its website.

It has offices in London, New York, Sydney and Seoul.

Northleaf Capital is a global private markets investment firm headquartered in Canada with offices in North America, London and Melbourne. It manages US$20 billion ($29 billion) in public and private infrastructure, pension, endowment, foundation and office commitments.

This first appeared in the CommsWire subscription newsletter on July 19, 2022.


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