New Zealand’s infrastructure investment company Infratil Ltd said on Monday Vodafone New Zealand would sell its passive mobile tower assets for NZ$1.7 billion ($1.05 billion) to funds managed by two global investment firms.
The sale follows a flurry of divestments by telecom firms as they cut debt and focus on their active mobile assets. Last week, Spark New Zealand announced the sale of a 70% stake in its towers business for NZ$900 million.
Vodafone NZ, of which Infratil owns about 49.95%, will sell 1,484 mobile towers to funds managed by London-based InfraRed Capital Partners and Toronto-based Northleaf Capital Partners. Each of the buyers will hold 40% of the new towers entity, TowerCo, while Infratil will reinvest proceeds from the sale to acquire a 20% stake.
TowerCo will enter a 20-year deal with Vodafone NZ for access to existing and new towers. TowerCo will build at least 390 additional sites over the next decade, Infratil said in a statement. The sale is expected to close in the fourth quarter, subject to approval from Canada’s Overseas Investment Office. Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management holds a 49.95% stake in Vodafone NZ.