The deal "represents a significant structural change to mobile towers infrastructure in New Zealand"
Chapman Tripp has provided guidance to Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (OTPP) on its acquisition of mobile tower business TowerCo from Spark New Zealand.
Pursuant to the $1.15bn transaction, OTPP acquired a 70% interest in TowerCo, which has approximately 1,263 sites. According to Chapman Tripp, the transaction is “the first carve-out of a mobile network operator’s passive tower infrastructure agreed in the New Zealand market.” OTPP successfully closed the acquisition on 14 October.
Moreover, the deal allows Spark to enter into a 15-year agreement with TowerCo to secure access to existing and new towers, with a build commitment of 670 sites over the next 10 years. Spark will retain the remaining 30% stake in TowerCo and continue to own all the “smarts” of its network, such as radio equipment and spectrum, Spark CEO Jolie Hodson confirmed.
Partners Roger Wallis and Greg Wise led the Chapman Tripp team in advising on several aspects of the deal, including initial negotiations, due diligence, transaction documentation, regulatory approvals, and sale completion. They were supported by partners Kelly McFadzien, Cathryn Barber, John Strowger, Lucy Cooper, Graeme Olding and Joshua Pringle, and senior associates Guy Jones, Rosa McPhee, Jana Hitchcock and Alex Franks. The team worked with Allens and Linklaters on the transaction.
“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,” Wallis said.
Spark was advised by Webb Henderson and Mayne Wetherell, while Russell McVeagh assisted the purchaser’s lenders.