North America: CDPQ and AMP provide debt funding for wireless tower build out

23 July 2018 - 12:00 am UTC

La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and AMP Capital have announced they will provide up to USD 1bn to finance telecommunications towers from Tillman Infrastructure, according to a 23 July press release.

The lenders will provide an initial investment of USD 500m, with USD 300m from CDPQ and USD 200m from AMP Capital, to back construction of the Tillman’s towers, according to a source briefed from AMP Capital. The investment could potentially grow to USD 1bn depending on future needs of the towers, which will be built across the United States.

Advising the lenders on the transaction was Latham & Watkins (legal). Tillman was advised on the deal by boutique Q Advisors (financial) and Sullivan & Cromwell (legal).

Tillman Infrastructure, a New York-based subsidiary of Tillman Global Holdings, builds, owns and operates a portfolio of cell towers. Tillman’s first towers began construction in late 2017 and the company is continuing to develop sites in over 30 states.

Instead of being backed by a traditional revolver, Tillman choose CDPQ and AMP Capital because “they believe in long term, stable financing, and we consider them as true partners in our business,” a source from Tillman said.

The loan is not a private placement, but AMP Capital and CDPQ both declined to comment further on tenor and pricing.

AMP Capital is making the investment from its USD 4.1bn AMP Capital Infrastructure Debt Fund III. In 2017, the fund made a USD 200m mezzanine investment in Vertical Bridge, then the largest private owner of telecommunications tower infrastructure in the US.