3i Infrastructure has announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire a 36% economic interest in Wireless Infrastructure Group, investing approximately £75m and joining existing majority shareholder Wood Creek Capital Management and the management team as shareholders. Completion of the transaction is conditional only upon receiving clearance from the European Commission under the EU Merger Regulation. Completion is anticipated by the end of June 2016. 3i Infrastructure say that the transaction is part of a strategy to scale up Wireless Infrastructure Group. They say that the business has ambitions to expand its footprint in the UK through building new infrastructure and acquiring under-managed infrastructure from third parties, as well as to participate in the expansion of the sector in Europe.
Wireless Infrastructure Group is an independent communications infrastructure provider headquartered in Bellshill, Scotland. The business builds and operates communication towers (masts) in rural and suburban areas, together with fibre based networks, to improve mobile coverage in large buildings and on city streets. Wireless Infrastructure Group is independent of any network operator and invests in shareable infrastructure that is made available to all networks to access. 3i Infrastructure say that, following its inception in 2006, Wireless Infrastructure Group has invested in over 2,000 shared communications towers and other wireless infrastructure across the UK. The business has also expanded recently into the Netherlands and Ireland. 3i Infrastructure comment that independent tower operators account for only approximately 25% of European tower ownership compared to over 60% of towers globally and over 80% in the US. They believe that, as the tower sector gathers momentum in Europe, this is an attractive time to be investing in Wireless Infrastructure Group.
3i Infrastructure to acquire 36% of Wireless Infrastructure Group for £75m :3IN