Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (OTPP) has acquired 70% of Spark New Zealand’s mobile tower business in a NZ$1.15b deal that closed on 14 October 2022. This transaction is the first carve-out of a mobile network operator’s passive tower infrastructure agreed in the New Zealand market.
As part of the acquisition, Spark New Zealand has entered into a long-term agreement with TowerCo to provide for access to existing and new towers, and a build commitment of at least 670 sites over the next 10 years.
Spark has reinvested part of the transaction proceeds in TowerCo for a 30% equity stake.
OTPP was advised by Chapman Tripp on initial negotiations, due diligence, transaction documentation, regulatory approvals and completion of the sale. The Chapman Tripp team advising on this strategic investment was led by Roger Wallis and Greg Wise, and included Partners Kelly McFadzien, Cathryn Barber, John Strowger, Lucy Cooper, Graeme Olding, Joshua Pringle, and Senior Associates, Guy Jones, Rosa McPhee, Jana Hitchcock and Alex Franks.
Wallis said, “This transaction represents a significant structural change to mobile towers infrastructure in New Zealand, and we have been delighted to advise OTPP through each stage of the process.”
Alongside Chapman Tripp, Allens and Linklaters provided legal advice to OTPP on aspects of the transaction. Spark was advised by Webb Henderson in Australia and New Zealand, and Mayne Wetherell. Bank of America Securities advised OTPP, and Jarden and Forsyth Barr advised Spark, as financial advisers. Russell McVeagh advised the purchaser’s lenders.