Digital Colony buys Finnish telecoms firm from First State

The joint venture between Colony NorthStar and Digital Bridge is expected to close its debut digital infrastructure fund by 30 June above its $3bn target.

A joint venture between real estate firm Colony NorthStar and communication infrastructure company Digital Bridge has acquired a telecoms company in Finland from First State Investments.

Digital Colony, the joint venture, said it has purchased a 100 percent stake in Digita Oy, a Helsinki-based television and radio broadcast tower operator. Digita is Finland’s largest independent tower network owner and has the ability to reach 100 percent of the country’s population, according to a statement.

Digital Colony did not disclose a transaction price. First State, an Australian asset manager, acquired Digita in 2012 from TDF Group. Ben Jenkins, managing partner at Digital Colony, said the firm will work with Digita to develop new macro towers, rooftop sites, small cell deployments and data centres. Digita’s existing management, including chief executive Juha-Pekka Weckström, will remain, Digital Colony said.

The acquisition is the first Digital Colony has made public since Colony NorthStar and Digital Bridge announced last year they would partner to invest in mobile and internet infrastructure to take advantage of increased access to 5G networks. The companies are currently raising a fund, Digital Colony Partners, which is reportedly expected to close by 30 June above its $3 billion target.

The fund has already made two investments and is likely to make another two-to-four this year, Infrastructure Investor previously reported. It is unclear if the vehicle has a specific geographic focus, but both Colony NorthStar and Digital Bridge are based in the US. An investment in Finland suggests the fund can invest outside of the US.

Digital infrastructure is seen by many as having high-growth potential, as industries move to cloud-based data management and access to mobile networks continues to increase. Assets including telecom towers and data centres are attracting interest from both infrastructure and real estate investors.