Big Law Triumvirate Work on $900m NZ Spark Deal

A triumvirate of major law firms here and overseas acted on the sale of Spark’s TowerCo business to a Canadian pension plan, a NZD900 million deal handled by Chapman Tripp, Allens and Linklaters.  Allens used their Technology, Media and Telecommunications division, which has been used in various infrastructure deals in both New Zealand and Australia.

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

The joint Allens and Linklaters team worked alongside Chapman Tripp in New Zealand.

The team was led by Gavin Smith, Allens’ Head of TMT, alongside Adrian Fisher, Asia Head of TMT, Linklaters’ – Allens’ global alliance partner.

‘Allens is pleased to have worked with our alliance partner 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,’ said Gavin Smith.

‘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,’ said Adrian Fisher.

The transaction is subject to regulatory review and is expected to close in late 2022.

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