Spark New Zealand completed a deal to sell 70 per cent of its stake in its TowerCo business to the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, after receiving government approval.

The operator agreed the deal in July and proceeded after New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office gave its blessing.

Spark previously stated it would return NZD350 million ($196.9 million) of the NZD900 million sale price to shareholders through an on-market share buy-back.

The company noted its board will determine the process and timing for the buy-back based on market conditions and it may look at alternative return opportunities if required.

Spark’s tower unit manages 1,263 sites across New Zealand, with the operator to be the anchor tenant for 15 years.

GSMA Intelligence estimated Spark had 2.5 million mobile connections at end-September, broadly on par with rival Vodafone New Zealand.