Spanish towers business Axion changes hands again
Spanish towers business Axion is to change hands for the fourth time in a decade, this time for €200 million.
Asterion Industrial Partners announced on Tuesday that it has agreed to acquire the Spanish broadcasting and telecommunications infrastructure business from AMP Capital, and Asterion has already hinted that it is hoping to use its new asset to capitalise on 5G and IoT innovations.
Founding partner at Asterion Industrial Partners, Guido Mitrani, said: “We are very excited about this investment which is highly complementary to our existing portfolio and is uniquely positioned for further investment and growth acceleration. We look forward to working with its first-class management team, applying our industrial approach, to create an integrated telecommunications infrastructure platform, with a unique portfolio of towers enriched with wide-ranging backhaul capabilities and a superior fibre network.
“Furthermore, through Lineox, our portfolio company acquired from Telefónica earlier this year, and deep sector experience, we are distinctively positioned to create a compelling end-to-end connectivity offer to our customers extremely well suited to capture the next growth wave of 5G and the Internet of Things,” Mitrani continued.
AMP Capital – the investment arm of one of Australia’s big four banks – acquired Axión in 2016 from Antin Infrastructure Partners, which itself acquired the business in 2011. That time, bids were also submitted by El Towers, EQT Infrastructure and Ardian.
In June 2016 the company was valued at €150 million and in its more recent market announcement, Asterion said the business had “grown significantly under AMP Capital’s ownership and expanded into new market areas”.
The achievements have included: delivering 35 new built-to-suit towers and being awarded a contract for a further 148 towers; the 2018 establishment of Axent, a wholesale operator of telecommunications transport services on fibre and radio platforms; and the expansion into new business segments, including IoT and Distributable Antenna Systems (DAS).
Phil Pacey, principal, asset management at AMP Capital, said: “We are proud of Axión’s performance since our acquisition. We secured a solid business in a rapidly growing sector for our clients, and through our active business development approach we have guided the business onto its growth trajectory.
“In the last four years, Axión has delivered build to suit towers and created a strong development pipeline to build further towers. We have positioned Axión to benefit from technological developments in the communications sector through the establishment of Axent, a joint venture with Enagás, to commercialise over 4,600km of fibre and further expand its network.
“Additionally, Axión has become an innovator in the industry, with the expansion of its offering to include IoT services and DAS. We wish Axión’s management team, employees and new owners continued success in the future,” Pacey added.
Axión currently manages more than 5,000 service points distributed throughout Spain, across 635 towers. In addition, in 2018 the business expanded into fibre through Axent to develop and commercialise their joint radio and fibre infrastructure. Axent utilises over 4,600kms of fibre across Spain.