- The new TowerCo business will be the largest in New Zealand, covering over 98% of the population
- The deal’s purchase price is NZ$1.7 billion ($1.05 billion)
- InfraRed Capital Partners and Northleaf Capital Partners will together hold 80% of the new TowerCo
Vodafone New Zealand, backed by Brookfield Asset Management and Infratil, has agreed to sell its passive mobile tower assets to InfraRed Capital Partners (40%) and Northleaf Capital Partners (40%). The purchase price is NZ$1.7 billion ($1.05 billion).
As part of the deal, which is expected to close in Q4 2022, Infratil will reinvest to hold 20% in the new TowerCo. The new TowerCo will also enter into a 20-year master services agreement with Vodafone NZ to provide access to both new and existing towers and commit to building at least 390 additional sites over the next decade.
“This transaction is a material milestone in the execution of our strategic program to increase use of assets at Vodafone NZ, releasing capital from the network when it makes sense and conditions are supportive and through targeted partnerships around infrastructure,” said Udhay Mathialagan, infrastructure managing director at Brookfield. “This partnership will enhance site choices for wireless operators in New Zealand whilst supporting a strong return on our equity invested in Vodafone NZ three years ago”
Infrared is a London-based infrastructure investor with $12 billion in assets under management in private and listed funds. Northleaf is a Toronto-based private markets investment firm with $20 billion of assets under management across private equity, private credit and infrastructure.
“We’re pleased at the outcome of the process, which attracted significant interest,” said Jason Paris, Vodafone CEO. “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.”
New Zealand-based Infratil is an infrastructure investment company that was founded in 1994.
“We are delighted with this outcome, which highlights again why Vodafone is an excellent Infratil investment,” said Jason Boyes, CEO at Infratil. “We have unlocked a significant portion of the value of our original equity invested in Vodafone, whilst retaining that investment and a 20% stake in TowerCo. InfraRed Capital Partners and Northleaf Capital are high-calibre investors who share our vision for what the new TowerCo can deliver across New Zealand.”