Vodafone New Zealand is selling its mobile phone tower assets to investment firms for NZ$1.7-billion (R17.9-billion).
Together with shareholders Infratil and Brookfield Asset Management, Vodafone’s passive mobile tower assets will be bought by investors InfraRed Capital Partners and Northleaf Capital Partners, which will each have 40% stakes in the new TowerCo business. Infratil will reinvest to hold the remaining 20%, according to a statement Monday.
“We’re pleased at the outcome of the process, which attracted significant interest,” Vodafone CEO Jason Paris said in a statement. “Infratil, InfraRed Capital Partners and Northleaf Capital are outstanding investors who share our vision for Aotearoa New Zealand and will help us to accelerate the roll-out of critical infrastructure for our customers.”
Telecommunications companies around the world are separating so-called passive assets such as mobile phone towers and looking for specialist investors. Last week, Vodafone’s New Zealand competitor Spark announced the sale of a majority stake in its tower assets to Canadian pension fund Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board for NZ$900-million.
Vodafone said that under the terms of the deal, which is subject to New Zealand Overseas Investment Office approval, TowerCo will enter into a 20-year pact to provide it with access to both existing and new towers. TowerCo will also commit to building at least 390 additional sites over the next 10 years, Vodafone said.
The transaction is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of 2022. — Matthew Brockett, (c) 2022 Bloomberg LP