AustralianSuper, the Melbourne-based A$233 billion ($169.2 billion) superannuation fund, announced Friday it has acquired a 70% stake in digital infrastructure asset Australia Tower Network from Singapore Telecommunications for A$1.9 billion.
AustralianSuper said in a news release the network of more than 2,300 national tower and rooftop sites "will provide long-term contracted revenues," building on the fund's strong interest in investing in long-term national infrastructure assets.
Singtel will continue to own a 30% stake in Australia Tower Network.
The announcement is the latest of a flurry of sizable infrastructure-related moves by the country's biggest super fund in recent months.
AustralianSuper was part of a consortium that announced on Sept. 20 it would buy a 49% stake in the WestConnex Sydney road network for A$11 billion. Earlier that month, it was a member of the Sydney Aviation Alliance that offered A$23.6 billion for Sydney Airport — a bid the airport's board indicated was attractive.
Nik Kemp, AustralianSuper's head of infrastructure, said the fund's purchase of Australia Tower Network marks its first digital infrastructure investment in Australia.
Singtel, in a separate news release, cited the imperative to "restructure our assets and reorganize our business to better fund, improve and grow our digital infrastructure."
The deal "will support the rollout of 5G and other growth initiatives," said Yuen Kuan Moon, Singtel's group CEO.
The AustralianSuper news release said the fund has more than A$24 billion invested in infrastructure globally, including high-profile local assets such as NSW Ports, Ausgrid, WestConnex, Transurban Queensland and Perth Airport.
A spokesman for the fund said that A$24 billion total doesn't include deals AustralianSuper has bid for but not yet closed, such as Sydney Airport.
While this year's investments and bids for infrastructure assets have amounted to billions of dollars, the spokesman said the fund's 12% allocation to infrastructure won't necessary change significantly, reflecting strong net inflows, which look set to amount to A$20 billion this year.