Transaction creates New Zealand’s largest independent tower company
TORONTO, CANADA and MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA (July 18, 2022) – Northleaf Capital Partners (“Northleaf”), a leading global private markets investment firm, today announced that funds managed by Northleaf will acquire a 40% interest in Aotearoa Towers Limited (the “Company”), a mobile tower infrastructure business, from Vodafone New Zealand Limited (“Vodafone NZ”).
The completion of this transaction will create New Zealand’s largest independent tower company, with approximately 1,500 wholly-owned towers covering 98% of New Zealand’s population. The Company will benefit from a long-term revenue contract with Vodafone NZ, with an initial term of 20 years and the option for two 10-year extensions. In addition, Vodafone NZ has committed to building additional sites with the Company to meet its expected coverage and capacity requirements over the next ten years.
Northleaf will acquire its interest in the Company alongside InfraRed Capital Partners (“InfraRed”), on behalf of HICL Infrastructure PLC, which will also be acquiring a 40% interest. Existing investor Infratil Limited will maintain a 20% interest in the Company.
Tom Irvine, Managing Director at Northleaf said:
“The Company is an excellent fit with Northleaf’s communications infrastructure investment strategy and our broader portfolio of mid-market infrastructure assets in select OECD countries. This investment provides our investors exposure to an attractive and growing sector.”
“We are excited to expand our digital infrastructure presence and to establish the largest independent tower company in New Zealand. Mobile connectivity is more important than ever, with data growth continuing to expand at rapid rates and remote work becoming more prevalent. The Company provides essential infrastructure which will contribute positively to New Zealand society in the long term.”
Completion of the transaction is subject to Overseas Investment Office approval and is anticipated to occur in the second half of 2022.
Northleaf’s mid-market infrastructure portfolio includes 40 assets in select OECD countries. Northleaf has been an active investor in Australia and New Zealand since 2013 when it acquired Waterloo Wind Farm, an operational 131 MW facility located in South Australia. Northleaf has also invested in the Lal Lal Wind Farms project in Victoria, Australia and Quantem (formerly known as ANZ Terminals), a bulk liquid storage business with operations in Australia and New Zealand.
Northleaf and InfraRed were advised by Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Allens, Chapman Tripp, PwC, Altman Solon, Alvarez & Marsal, RPS, Colliers and Gallaghers.
About Northleaf Capital Partners
Northleaf Capital Partners is a global private markets investment firm with more than US$20 billion in private equity, private credit and infrastructure commitments raised to date from public, corporate and multi-employer pension plans, endowments, foundations, financial institutions and family offices. Northleaf’s team of 200 professionals, located in Toronto, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Menlo Park, Montreal and New York, is focused exclusively on sourcing, evaluating and managing private markets investments globally. Its portfolio includes more than 500 active investments in more than 40 countries, with a focus on mid-market companies and assets. For more information on Northleaf, please visit www.northleafcapital.com.
Northleaf’s US$5 billion infrastructure program targets direct, long-term investments in mid-market assets that deliver essential services in select OECD countries. The program’s flexibility allows Northleaf to execute on transactions that are well-diversified by geography, revenue type and sub-sector in core regions of the OECD infrastructure market.
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