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Vodafone New Zealand passive mobile tower process commences

As signalled at a recent Infratil investor update, Vodafone New Zealand has been actively exploring the possibility of network capital release options as part of its ongoing transformation and growth strategy for some time, and has been preparing for potential separation and capital release of its passive mobile infrastructure tower assets.

A market engagement process has now commenced, with Barrenjoey and UBS engaged to advise Vodafone New Zealand.

The mobile network experience for Vodafone New Zealand customers will benefit from a more focused investment on the active mobile network assets. Other benefits include more specialised passive infrastructure ownership and stronger incentives to co-locate on common tower assets, in turn driving better capital efficiency and reduced environmental impacts.

As the necessary infrastructure to support digital economies grows in importance, and as telecommunications companies look to unlock value that can be reinvested, separate ownership of passive mobile tower assets has become increasingly common.

Vodafone New Zealand has the largest1 tower portfolio in New Zealand, covering 98% of New Zealand’s population, with strong co-tenancy potential, currently comprising ~1487 wholly owned mobile towers spread across New Zealand. Vodafone New Zealand is committed to building additional sites to maintain its relative coverage and capacity position in the future. The FY23 forecast EBITDA is $51m. EBITDA is shown on a cash basis and not adjusted for IFRS 16.

NB: Passive mobile infrastructure tower assets typically include; physical tower, masts and poles, foundations, fencing and access facilities, and any associated contractual rights to occupy the site area. They do not include; spectrum, core mobile network, radio network or back-haul.

  1. As per information aggregated by third parties using publicly available sources including the MBIE radio spectrum database. Excludes small cells.

CT Bureau

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