Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management and New Zealand-based infrastructure company Infratil have reached a conditional agreement to buy Vodafone’s New Zealand business for NZ$3.4bn (€2bn).

Brookfield and Infratil will each contribute equity of NZ$1.03bn to the purchase price with the balance funded from debt. A portion of equity has been reserved for the Vodafone NZ executive team.

Vodafone New Zealand is the number one mobile operator and the second largest provider of fixed broadband in New Zealand backed by extensive national infrastructure including more than 1,500 mobile cell sites.

Stewart Upson, Brookfield’s managing partner and CEO Asia Pacific, said: “This is a unique opportunity for Brookfield to invest in a large-scale, high-quality data infrastructure business with one of New Zealand’s most experienced infrastructure managers.”

Upson said Brookfield had identified growth in data usage worldwide as a significant opportunity, particularly with the large scale infrastructure investments that would be required to support data transportation and storage.

“Over the last few years, we have made several investments to grow and expand our data infrastructure business, and today we are invested across several of the segments.”

Brookfield owns the largest tower operator in France with 7,000 towers and active rooftop sites, 5,500km of fibre backbone in France, and 41 data centres globally.

Marko Bogoievski, Infratil’s CEO, said: “The Vodafone NZ acquisition is consistent with our plan to reshape our portfolio and maintain a balanced growth profile.”

The acquisition significantly increased the firm’s exposure to “high conviction” trends surrounding data, and the infrastructure required to deliver future communication models.

The deal which is expected to close by August is conditional on the approval of New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office and Commerce Commission clearance.