Brookfield Infrastructure Partners has acquired 3i Infrastructure’s 93% stake in Wireless Infrastructure Group (WIG) for £387m (€454.1m).
Announcing the deal, 3i said the sale value for its stake in the UK-headquartered telecom towers operator exceeded the £291m valuation as at the third quarter of the year. The amount also equates to an enterprise value for WIG of £575m.
3i invested £75m to acquire a minority interest in WIG in April 2016. In January 2018, the London-listed closed-ended investment company invested a further £187m to increase its equity ownership to 93%.
Over the last three years, WIG, which provides indoor mobile infrastructure to buildings right across the UK, has grown its international footprint through the development of its Dutch and Irish tower portfolios.
Richard Laing, chair of 3i Infrastructure, said: “This transaction delivers exceptional value to shareholders, well above our investment case back in 2016.
“Whilst 3i Infrastructure aims to hold its investments over the longer term, we will sell investments where this generates significant additional value for shareholders. This has been an excellent investment for the Company, despite the relatively short holding period.”
Phil White, managing partner and head of infrastructure, 3i Investments, investment manager of the company, said: “This sale arises unexpectedly but in the context of a changing competitive landscape in the UK mobile towers sector where scale is increasing in importance, with a number of potential tower portfolio transactions anticipated to take place next year.
“In the process of preparing to position WIG for such a transaction, we received a compelling offer from Brookfield Infrastructure which, after careful consideration, we decided to accept.”