We are pleased to have advised a consortium comprised of InfraRed Capital Partners and Northleaf Capital on their acquisition, together with Infratil, of Vodafone NZ’s passive mobile network.
The consortium acquired an 80 per cent equity interest in Aotearoa Towers Limited (“TowerCo”) from Vodafone New Zealand (with Infratil retaining a 20 per cent interest). The transaction has created New Zealand’s largest independent tower company, with around 1,500 towers covering 98% of New Zealand’s population. The deal follows a similar sale of around 1,300 towers by Spark New Zealand, in which Chapman Tripp was also the lead legal advisor to the purchaser.
InfraRed Capital Partners and Northleaf Capital were advised by Chapman Tripp on all aspects of the acquisition, including due diligence, transaction documentation, debt and equity financing, regulatory approvals and completion of the transaction.
The Chapman Tripp team was led by Partner Rachel Dunne and included Partners Fiona Bennett, Tessa Baker and Gerard Souness, Senior Associates Jeremy Gray and Philip Ascroft, Senior Solicitors Lucia Tolich and Ryan Bridgman and Solicitors Ella Knoester and Stephanie Knowler. Chapman Tripp teamed up with Allens in Australia on the transaction.
Rachel Dunne says, “We have greatly enjoyed working so closely with InfraRed and Northleaf on such a significant transaction. The entire deal team worked incredibly hard to bring this transaction to a successful completion, and we are very proud of the role our people have played in assisting our clients achieve this”
TowerCo 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. Vodafone NZ has committed to building at least 390 additional sites to meet its expected coverage and capacity requirements over the next ten years.