Infratil's Vodafone NZ to sell mobile tower assets for $1.1 billion

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Vodafone logo is seen during GSMA's 2022 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain February 28, 2022. REUTERS/Nacho Doce

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July 18 (Reuters) - New Zealand's infrastructure investment company Infratil Ltd (IFT.NZ)said on Monday Vodafone New Zealand would sell its passive mobile tower assets for NZ$1.7 billion ($1.05 billion) to funds managed by two global investment firms.

The sale follows a flurry of divestments by telecom firms as they cut debt and focus on their active mobile assets. Last week, Spark New Zealand (SPK.NZ) announced the sale of a 70% stake in its towers business for NZ$900 million.

Vodafone NZ, of which Infratil owns about 49.95%, will sell 1,484 mobile towers to funds managed by London-based InfraRed Capital Partners and Toronto-based Northleaf Capital Partners.

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Each of the buyers will hold 40% of the new towers entity, TowerCo, while Infratil will reinvest proceeds from the sale to acquire a 20% stake.

TowerCo will enter a 20-year deal with Vodafone NZ for access to existing and new towers. TowerCo will build at least 390 additional sites over the next decade, Infratil said in a statement. (https://bit.ly/3RKklbB)

The sale is expected to close in the fourth quarter, subject to approval from Canada's Overseas Investment Office.

Canada's Brookfield Asset Management (BAMa.TO) holds a 49.95% stake in Vodafone NZ. (https://bit.ly/3P8VAEp)

($1 = 1.6242 New Zealand dollars)

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Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Richard Chang

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