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Chapman Tripp Advises Connexa On $1.076 Billion Deal To Acquire 2degrees’ Passive Cell Tower Assets

Connexa agreed to acquire 1,124 passive mobile telecommunication towers from 2degrees in December 2022 and the transaction is now complete.

In connection with the transaction, 2degrees entered into a 20-year services agreement with Connexa, under which Connexa will provide access to space on the towers. 2degrees has also committed to an additional 450 tower tenancies with Connexa.

The transaction secured consent under the Overseas Investment Act and Commerce Act clearance, and completion occurred on 22 June 2023.

Connexa currently owns and operates a portfolio of passive mobile telecommunication towers previously owned by Spark. Connexa is 83% owned by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, and 17% by Spark.

Mobile telecommunication towers have become a highly sought-after asset for infrastructure investors around the world. Sales of these towers, such as this transaction, also enable mobile network operators to invest further in active elements of their networks, including in deployment of 5G technology.

Connexa was advised by Chapman Tripp on negotiations, due diligence, transaction documentation and regulatory approvals. The Chapman Tripp team advising on this strategic acquisition was led by Partners Roger Wallis and Greg Wise, and included Partners Cathryn Barber, Lucy Cooper, Kelly McFadzien, Graeme Olding and Tim Tubman, and Senior Associates Emma Bowman, Jana Hitchcock, Guy Houghton Jones and Rosa McPhee.

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Lucy Cooper, working with a team including Senior Solicitors Stacey Thomson and Laura Green, led the competition law clearance application. After considering Connexa’s submissions in response to a Statement of Issues and other evidence gathered, the Commerce Commission was satisfied that the acquisition is unlikely to substantially lessen competition.

This is the second landmark acquisition of passive mobile telecommunication towers in New Zealand on which Chapman Tripp has advised Connexa or its majority shareholder, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board. In mid-2022, Chapman Tripp advised Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board on its acquisition of a majority stake in Connexa from Spark.

Alongside Chapman Tripp, Allens and Linklaters advised Connexa. 2degrees was advised by Simpson Grierson and Gilbert + Tobin. Bank of America Securities advised OTPP, Macquarie Capital advised 2degrees, and Jarden advised Spark, in each case as financial advisers on the transaction.

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