Australia Tower Network, a wireless technology infrastructure company owned by AustralianSuper and Singapore Telecommunications, will acquire Axicom, an operator of more than 2,000 Australian telecom towers, for A$3.6 billion ($2.7 billion).
AustralianSuper, a Melbourne-based superannuation fund managing more than A$260 billion in retirement assets, acquired a 70% stake in ATN from Singtel last November. Following ATN's acquisition of Axicom from Macquarie Asset Management, AustralianSuper's shareholding in the enlarged entity will rise to 82%, with Singtel holding the remaining 18%.
An AustralianSuper spokesman declined to provide further details on how the deal would be financed, or say when the transaction will be finalized.
Singtel, in a separate announcement to the Singapore stock exchange, said through a wholly owned subsidiary it will fund part of the Axicom acquisition "in an aggregate amount of A$212 million via a combination of the subscription for new ATN shares and unsecured shareholder loans."
Nik Kemp, AustralianSuper's head of infrastructure, said in a joint AustralianSuper-Singtel news release Friday the combination of ATN's more than 2,300 tower sites and Axicom's roughly 2,000 sites will create a provider with a national footprint, capable of delivering long-term value for AustralianSuper's more than 2.6 million participants.
The outlook for growth in demand for digital infrastructure will make that market segment a continued focus for AustralianSuper as the fund looks to double portfolio infrastructure exposures that currently stand at A$31 billion over the coming five years, Mr. Kemp said.