Vodafone NZ to sell mobile tower assets for NZD1.7bn

18 Jul 2022

Vodafone New Zealand, together with shareholders Infratil and Brookfield Asset Management, have announced the sale of the operator’s passive mobile tower assets for NZD1.7 billion (USD1.05 billion) to funds managed by the global investment firms InfraRed Capital Partners and Northleaf Capital Partners. Each of the buyers will hold 40% of the new tower company (TowerCo), while Infratil will reinvest proceeds from the sale to acquire a 20% stake. The independent tower business comprises 1,484 wholly owned mobile towers covering over 98% of the country’s population.

Under the terms of the deal, which is subject to Overseas Investment Office approval and completion of certain reorganisation steps, the new TowerCo will enter into a 20-year master services agreement with Vodafone NZ (with extension rights) providing Vodafone with access to both existing and new towers, and a commitment from TowerCo to build at least 390 additional sites over the next ten years to enhance Vodafone’s relative coverage and capacity position. Vodafone will continue to own the active parts of its network, including the radio access equipment and spectrum assets. The transaction is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of the 2022 calendar year.

Commenting on the deal, Infratil Chief Executive Jason Boyes said: ‘We are delighted with this outcome, which highlights again why Vodafone is an excellent Infratil investment. 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. The transaction is a win-win for Infratil shareholders.’

Infratil and Brookfield each acquired a 49.95% stake in Vodafone NZ in May 2019 for NZD1.03 billion.

New Zealand, Vodafone New Zealand