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Canadian pension fund investor buys 70% stake in New Zealand mobile tower business

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board has acquired a 70 per cent stake in a New Zealand mobile tower business, in a deal worth NZ$900 million.

user iconLauren Croft 18 August 2022 Big Law
Canadian pension fund investor buys 70% stake in New Zealand mobile tower business
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Firm: Allens and Linklaters (Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board)

Deal: Allens and Linklaters have advised Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board on its NZ$900 million acquisition of 70 per cent of Spark New Zealand’s TowerCo business.

Value: NZ$900 million


Area: Merger and acquisition

Key players: The joint Allens and Linklaters team worked alongside Chapman Tripp in New Zealand. The team was led by Allens’ head of technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) Gavin Smith, alongside Adrian Fisher, Linklaters’ Asia head of TMT.

Deal significance: This is the first carve-out of telecoms towers in the New Zealand market.

Spark New Zealand is the largest telecommunications and digital services company in the country, with 1,263 sites. As part of the acquisition, Spark New Zealand has entered 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.

Commenting on the deal, Mr Smith said that Allens was “pleased to have worked with Linklaters to deliver for Ontario Teachers’ on this significant investment in Spark New Zealand”.

“This is the latest in a number of complex digital infrastructure transactions on which we have acted in the Australian and New Zealand markets. We are delighted to have assisted Ontario Teachers on a deal which will support Spark New Zealand’s growth over the long term,” he said.

Mr Fisher added: “Linklaters has a long-standing reputation for delivering agile, practical and innovative advice to help clients navigate the increasingly connected and digitised telecoms industry.

“We have worked on many landmark TMT M&A transactions across Asia, where our integrated advice is essential. This transaction involved close collaboration between our Singapore, London and Allens teams, together with Chapman Tripp in New Zealand. We are delighted to have supported Ontario Teachers’ on this strategic investment and our team looks forward to continuing to work closely with them to achieve their investment goals.”