Australia Tower Network (ATN), backed by Singtel, has won an auction for Axicom, Macquarie Asset Management’s national tower company, for A$3.6 billion ($2.7 billion), which, according to bosses, has significantly improved its footprint.
Macquarie said it had entered into binding agreements with ATN for the sale of Axicom, which owns and operates around 2,000 towers across Australia.
ATN is co-owned by investment fund AustralianSuper: its head of infrastructure, Nik Kemp, explained that the acquisition complements the tower company’s existing infrastructure portfolio and will create “a provider with a truly national footprint that will connect the vast majority of Australian families and businesses.”
Kemp added that ATN is looking to double its infrastructure portfolio over the next five years, expecting significant growth in demand for digital infrastructure and ready to consider future opportunities.
Singtel sold 70 per stake in ATN to AustralianSuper in October 2021.
Following completion of the deal with Axicom, Singtel’s stake will be 18%, with AustralianSuper holding 82%.
ATN CEO Cameron Evans said the combination of the nation’s largest independent wireless infrastructure companies provides “strategic advantages and strong opportunities for value creation.”
The company currently operates 2,300 sites, which are used by Singtel-owned Optus under a long-term lease.
Optus will also be the anchor tenant for 565 new towers built over the next three years.
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