Everest Infrastructure, an owner and operator of wireless infrastructure, through its Everest Infrastructure Partners ANZ joint venture with private equity firm Peppertree Capital Management, today announced that it has completed the acquisition of a wireless communications portfolio throughout South East Queensland, which includes the cities of Brisbane, the Gold Coast, and the Sunshine Coast of Australia. Specifically, the assets include wireless towers, rooftops, and distributed antenna system (DAS) sites, which are leased to Australia’s three major wireless carriers: Telstra, Optus, and TPG Telecom.
Everest Infrastructure Partners ANZ – Overview
Everest Infrastructure Partners ANZ was formed in February 2021 with the mandate to acquire and develop wireless infrastructure in Australia and New Zealand. Particularly, this wireless infrastructure includes ground-based towers, tower ground leases, and rooftop antenna sites. Notably, in March 2021, the entity Everest ANZ US LLC raised at least $50m from Peppertree through a securities offering.
During the initial six months since Everest Infrastructure entered the Australian market, the company has assembled 25+ sites, through pending and closed deals, across multiple States. For example, one of these sites is located in Redbank, which is 15.5 miles (25 kilometers) southwest of Brisbane’s CBD. Furthermore, the company notes that it has a “growing pipeline of opportunities” in the region.
Everest Infrastructure Partners ANZ is the first international expansion for Everest Infrastructure Partners. The broader company operates, manages, or markets 4.0k+ communications sites throughout the United States. Including the company’s ANZ joint venture, Everest Infrastructure has raised $700m+ of total capital for its multi-country wireless infrastructure portfolio.
Will Heapy, CEO of Everest Infrastructure Partners ANZ, alongside its other principals have acquired, developed, and managed 10k+ antenna sites throughout Australia and the United States. Heapy’s prior experience comes from Axicom, which owns a portfolio of ~2.0k towers in Australia, as well as Crown Castle.
Australia’s Wireless Infrastructure – Strategic Refresh
The three largest wireless carriers in Australia, namely Telstra, Optus, and TPG Telecom are all in the process of monetizing their tower infrastructure assets. Indeed, this decision is being driven by these wireless carriers needing to densify their networks and deploy new spectrum for 5G (i.e., new low- and high-band spectrum). In turn, neutral host infrastructure providers such as Everest Infrastructure are becoming increasingly important in Australia.
Peppertree Capital Management – Digital Infrastructure
Peppertree Capital Management is a private equity firm with its headquarters in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. The firm invests primarily in digital infrastructure, including the sub-sectors of towers, fiber, DAS, spectrum, and small cells. Presently, Peppertree Capital is investing out of its eighth equity fund, Peppertree Capital Fund VIII. Additionally, the firm manages an open-ended (i.e., no termination date) debt fund.
Overall, Peppertree has $2bn of assets under management and has made 100+ investments in digital infrastructure companies in 10 countries. Beyond Everest Infrastructure, Peppertree Capital’s digital infrastructure investments include:
- AT&T Sale-and-Leaseback: in October 2019, Peppertree Capital acquired 1.0k towers from AT&T for $680m
- Blue Sky Towers: in February 2021, Peppertree Capital increased its funding commitment to Blue Sky Towers from $120m to $320m. Notably, Peppertree has committed both equity and debt financing to Blue Sky Towers
- TowerCo: in January 2019, Peppertree Capital committed $300m of equity capital to fund future growth of the company