Dutch pension fund manager PGGM has taken over 2,400 telecommunication towers in France, in joint venture with American Tower Corporation.
The €200bn investor has extended its partnership with American Tower, a global real estate investment trust (REIT) listed on the New York stock exchange, to buy FPS Towers.
FPS Towers, France’s first independent telecommunication tower company, owns and operates the portfolio.
Through their previously established ATC Europe joint venture, PGGM and American Tower will both provide equity for the takeover, while the latter will also fund the debt.
Erik van de Brake, head of infrastructure at PGGM, said the deal enabled it “to invest pension money into the real economy on behalf of its clients”.
He said: “The FPS towers are part of an essential infrastructure for mobile communication, and this long-term investment is supporting the European economy and will bring good and stable returns to the participants of the funds whose capital we are managing.’’
The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017, subject to consultation with FPS Towers’ employee representative body, certain closing conditions and regulatory approval.
James Taiclet, Jr, American Tower’s chairman, president and chief executive, said the takeover would “elevate the growth profile of our European operations by entering into a new market”. The REIT owns more than 144,000 communications sites.