TPG Telecom sells passive tower assets for AU$950 million

Once transaction expenses are taken out, TPG expects to bank AU$890 million and use it to repay debt.

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Image: TPG Telecom

TPG Telecom said on Monday morning it had struck a deal valued at AU$950 million to sell its passive tower assets to the infrastructure management arm of the Ontario pension fund for municipal employees, OMERS.

The company said once transaction expenses were removed, it expected to bank AU$890 million, which would be used to repay debt. The deal covers 1,237 sites split between 428 towers and 908 rooftop sites, as well as 252 in the pipeline.

"This represents approximately 21% of TPG Telecom's total mobile network footprint, the remainder of which is already owned and operated by other tower companies," TPG said.

The asset purchases include 120 sites TPG said it would decommission as part of its February agreement with Telstra to share spectrum and regional network access.

A 20-year agreement between TPG and OMERS has been signed, with TPG having an option to extend.

In the past year, Australia's other major carriers have sold stakes in their respective tower networks. Telstra kicked off by selling a 49% stake in Amplitel to a consortium including the Future Fund, Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation, and Sunsuper for AU$2.8 billion, while Optus parent Singtel sold a 70% stake in its tower business for AU$1.9 billion to AustralianSuper.

Elsewhere on Monday, Spirit said it had agreed to sell its wholesale fixed wireless assets for AU$21 million to the Melbourne-based Maret Group. Spirit said it would retain the customer revenue and relationships, and core network assets, while Maret would charge it a last-mile services fee.

Spirit said the pair would use Maret's spectrum assets to create new products that Spirit would sell, and the proceeds of the sale would be used to boost its SMB and cyber arms.

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