Spark sells 70% of TowerCo to Ontario Teachers for NZD900m

12 Jul 2022

Spark New Zealand has announced the Canadian pension fund Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board will acquire a 70% stake in its mobile phone tower assets. The transaction values the TowerCo business, comprising approximately 1,263 sites, at NZD1.175 billion (USD721.5 million) and Spark expects net cash proceeds of NZD900 million at completion, which is subject to New Zealand Overseas Investment Office approval and anticipated in the first half of the 2023 financial year.

Under the terms of the deal, Spark has entered into a 15-year agreement with TowerCo (plus rights of renewal) to secure access to existing and new towers, with a build commitment of 670 sites over the next ten years. Spark will continue to determine how its mobile network is developed, including where and when capacity investments occur, with TowerCo then designing and deploying these build programmes.

Commenting on the deal, Spark CEO Jolie Hodson said: ‘We are pleased to have formed this strategic partnership with Ontario Teachers’ – a high-calibre investor with a long-term partnering focus and significant experience managing a portfolio of infrastructure investments globally, including within Australia and New Zealand. Our intention in establishing TowerCo is twofold – it allows us to deliver better outcomes and service experience for our customers and Aotearoa through faster, more efficient deployment of digital infrastructure, and it better realises the value of our passive mobile assets, maximising value for shareholders and enabling us to invest in future growth opportunities.’

New Zealand, Spark