Connexa completes acquisition of 2degrees’ passive mobile tower assets
New Zealand’s specialist mobile tower infrastructure company, Connexa and mobile operator Two Degrees Mobile (“2degrees”) have completed the transaction under which Connexa has acquired 2degrees’ passive mobile tower assets for NZ$1,076 million.
The intention to acquire the assets was announced in December 2022, by Connexa and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (Ontario Teachers’), Connexa’s largest shareholder.
The assets acquired by Connexa and divested by 2degrees comprise 1,124 mobile tower sites throughout New Zealand, including a number of in-flight sites to be delivered by 2degrees in 2023. The addition of 2degrees’ towers means Connexa’s tower network comprises more than 2,350 towers throughout New Zealand.
Connexa was formed in July 2022, with the acquisition of a 70% stake in Spark New Zealand's ("Spark") passive mobile tower infrastructure assets by Ontario Teachers’, with Spark retaining 30%. That transaction was completed in October 2022.
Following this latest acquisition, Ontario Teachers’ shareholding in Connexa rises to approximately 83% and Spark’s shareholding dilutes to around 17%.
Connexa chief executive Rob Berrill says the completion of the transaction follows regulatory approvals from the Commerce Commission and the Overseas Investment Office.
“We’re very pleased to complete this transaction with 2degrees which underscores Connexa’s vision to be New Zealand’s most comprehensive, efficient and sustainable tower network. We look forward to enabling a more connected digital future for Aotearoa as its demand and reliance on digital connectivity continues to grow,” he said.
Ontario Teachers’ senior managing director and head of Asia Pacific Infrastructure & Natural Resources Bruce Crane says the completion of the transaction establishes Connexa as New Zealand’s leading mobile tower infrastructure network.
“We are pleased to close this transaction and increase our ownership stake in Connexa. We are committed to supporting Connexa as it significantly expands its digital infrastructure platform in the years to come to meet New Zealand’s growing mobile and data demand needs,” he said.
Under the terms of the deal, 2degrees has entered into a 20 year-agreement with Connexa (plus rights of renewal) to secure access to existing and new towers. This includes an additional tower build and co-location commitment of 450 sites for 2degrees over the next 10 years.
2degrees chief executive Mark Callendar says the divestment of its passive tower assets supports the mobile operator’s strategy in New Zealand.
“We’re delighted to realise value from these assets, which will allow us to continue to invest in innovative solutions and services for Kiwis.
“You’ll continue to see laser focus on growth and value-added services from 2degrees, along with acceleration of a digital-first customer experience, and new product development.
“We look forward to working closely with Connexa as a specialist tower company focused on building out its network, including in areas that will support 2degrees’ future growth and development,” he said.
The significant forward build for 2degrees by Connexa is in addition to the country’s largest forward-committed new site build programme by Connexa for Spark. Connexa has committed to building a further 670 sites over the next ten years to support Spark’s mobile services.
Mr. Berrill said that Connexa was focused on delivering for its mobile operator customers to improve the efficiency and resilience of mobile tower assets in New Zealand.
“In addition to ongoing network expansion, our investment plans are focused on improving capacity and capability right across our network of towers,” he said.
“Mobile digital connectivity is increasingly an essential service in New Zealand and we look forward to working with our mobile network operator customers to ensure the latest in mobile digital technology is even more reliable and widely available.”
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Connexa is Aotearoa New Zealand’s specialist mobile tower infrastructure company that operates a nationwide portfolio of more than 2,350 mobile sites. Connexa is responsible for mobile tower build programmes that will enable a more connected digital future. www.connexa.co.nz
In 2022 New Zealand’s leading challenger telecommunications companies – 2degrees and Vocus – came together under the 2degrees brand to form New Zealand’s third largest, full-service telecommunications provider. 2degrees offers broadband and mobile services covering 98.5% of places Kiwis live and work, a nationwide fibre network and modern technology platforms, as well as energy services – all supported by an award-winning customer care team and a network of 58 retail stores. It operates the 2degrees, Slingshot and Orcon brands.
About Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan
Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board (Ontario Teachers') is a global investor with net assets of $247.2 billion as at December 31, 2022. We invest in more than 50 countries in a broad array of assets including public and private equities, fixed income, credit, commodities, natural resources, infrastructure, real estate and venture growth to deliver retirement income for 336,000 working members and pensioners.
With offices in Hong Kong, London, Mumbai, San Francisco, Singapore and Toronto, our more than 400 investment professionals bring deep expertise in a broad range of sectors and industries. We are a fully funded defined benefit pension plan and have earned an annual total-fund net return of 9.5% since the plan's founding in 1990. At Ontario Teachers', we don't just invest to make a return, we invest to shape a better future for the teachers we serve, the businesses we back, and the world we live in. For more information, visit otpp.com and follow us on Twitter @OtppInfo.