IIF buys wireless telecoms tower portfolio

This is the second investment made by the AMP-managed vehicle, which is still on the fundraising trail with a €1bn target.

The Irish Infrastructure Fund (IIF) has acquired Towercom, Ireland’s largest independent wireless telecoms tower business, from a consortium of investors. 
 
The deal, the value of which was not disclosed, will see the vehicle take control of 400 masts in various locations across the country. Towercom counts all of Ireland’s major telecom operators among its customers.
 
The transaction marks the second investment completed by IIF, after the vehicle bought a controlling stake in a portfolio of wind farms from Viridian Group last year. 
 
Managed by Australia’s AMP Capital, the fund is currently seeking to collect up to €1 billion from Irish and overseas institutional investors. Its LPs include the National Pensions Reserve Fund, which committed €250 million to the vehicle in November 2011. 
 
“Towercom offers an excellent platform from which the Fund can consider further growth in the telecoms sector,” commented Boe Pahari, head of infrastructure in Europe and the Americas at AMP, in a statement. 
 
IIF was established in 2011 by Irish Life Investment Management, the asset management arm of Irish Life Group, Ireland’s largest life and pensions company. Its mandate is to invest in Irish infrastructure assets – including those earmarked for disposal by the Irish government and state-owned companies – as well as back new infrastructure projects in Ireland.
 
The news comes a few days after AMP Capital hired Judy Saunders as an advisor to its UK business, in a bid to bolster its relationships with UK pension schemes. Saunders, previously chief investment officer at the West Midlands Pension Fund, will be in charge of securing commitments from UK pensions to the firm’s various funds. 
 
Headquartered in Sydney, AMP has around A$131 billion (€91 billion, $121 billion) under management. Its second infrastructure debt vehicle, currently being raised with a target of $1 billion, held a first close last December on $300 million.