Northleaf Capital to acquire 40% interest in Aotearoa Towers

Leading private markets investment firm Northleaf Capital Partners Ltd. is reportedly acquiring 40% interest in mobile tower infrastructure business, Aotearoa Towers Limited, from Vodafone New Zealand Ltd.

This transaction will create the largest independent tower company in New Zealand with close to 1,500 fully-owned towers covering around 98% of the country’s population.

Aotearoa Towers will benefit from the revenue contract with Vodafone, with an initial term of two decades and the option for two extensions of 10 years.

Furthermore, Vodafone NZ has pledged to build more sites with Aotearoa to fulfill its expected capacity and coverage requirements over the next decade.

Northleaf will buy Aotearoa’s interest along with InfraRed Capital Partners on HICL Infrastructure PLC’s behalf. HICL will also be buying a 40% interest. Current investor Infratil Limited will maintain its 20% interest in Aotearoa.

Northleaf Managing Director Tom Irvine remarked that Aotearoa complements the communications infrastructure investment strategy of the company and its extensive profile of mid-market infrastructure assets across select OECD countries.

The transaction will be complete subject to the approval from Overseas Investment Office and is expected to conclude by the second half of this year.

Northleaf’s portfolio of mid-market infrastructure comprises 40 assets across some OECD countries. The company has been proactively investing in New Zealand and Australia since 2013, when it bought Waterloo Wind Farm, a 131 MW operational facility situated in South Australia.

The Canada-based firm has also invested in Victoria, Australia-based Lal Lal Wind Farms project, and bulk liquid storage business Quantem which is operational in New Zealand and Australia.

InfraRed and Northleaf were advised by RBC (Royal Bank of Canada), Chapman Tripp, Allens, PwC, Alvarez & Marsal, Altman Solon, Colliers, RPS, and Gallaghers.

For the record, Northleaf Capital Partners has private equity, infrastructure commitments, and private credit of more than USD 20 billion.

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