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Singtel and pension fund pay $2.7bn for tower group

Lim Cheng Cheng Singtel.jpg

Singtel has bought Australian tower company Axicom in association with an Australian pension fund.

Singtel’s existing business, Australia Tower Network (ATN), and its investment partner AustralianSuper paid A$3.58 billion (US$2.69 billion) for the 2,000-tower company.

Singtel group chief corporate officer, Lim Cheng Cheng (pictured), said this morning: “This acquisition is a unique opportunity to scale up ATN’s operations and expand its customer base. It also reinforces Singtel’s commitment as a long-term investor in the Australian telecoms space where our goal has always been to provide more options and build better communications for Australian consumers and businesses.”

As well as ATN, Singtel also owns Optus, one of the two main competitors in Australia to Telstra, the incumbent operator.

Lim – who was group CFO of Singtel until last year – said: “In combining ATN and Axicom, AustralianSuper and Singtel will be working closely to realise the significant operational synergies created.”

Axicom’s sites are in metro and outer-metro locations across all eight states and territories and major cities in Australia. AustralianSuper was already a partner of Singtel, having acquired a 70% stake in ATN from Singtel in November 2021.

Nik Kemp, AustralianSuper head of infrastructure, said: “Axicom is complementary to our existing digital infrastructure portfolio and this acquisition will result in the creation of a provider with a truly national footprint that will connect the vast majority of Australian families and businesses.”

Kemp added: “AustralianSuper is looking to double its infrastructure portfolio over the next five years from its current A$31 billion [US23 billion]. We believe that there will be significant growth in demand for digital infrastructure and will actively consider future opportunities in this space.”