Singtel’s ATN and AustralianSuper to acquire Axicom for A$3.58B

The Mount Cargill transmission tower in Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand in 2019. Photo by Tomas Sobek on UnsplashThe Mount Cargill transmission tower in Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand in 2019. Photo by Tomas Sobek on Unsplash

Australia Tower Network (ATN), which is owned by Singtel and AustralianSuper, entered a deal to acquire Axicom, an Australian provider of telecommunications-tower infrastructure, for A$3.58 billion, the companies said in a filing to SGX Friday. 

Axicom owns and operates around 2,000 telecom sites across all eight Australian states and territories. ATN has more than 2,000 sites, with more than 565 under construction, the filing said.

“The strong synergies between Axicom and ATN would provide exceptional growth opportunities which will benefit customers, employees, and the community in the long term,” AustralianSuper and Singtel said. 

Lim Cheng Cheng, chief corporate officer at Singtel Group, said the deal would 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,” she said in the statement. “In combining ATN and Axicom, AustralianSuper and Singtel will be working closely to realise the significant operational synergies created.”

Singtel, via a subsidiary, will partly fund the Axicom acquisition with a total A$212 million through the combination of a subscription to new ATN shares and unsecured shareholder loans, the filing said.

Nik Kemp, head of infrastructure for AustralianSuper, 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.”

Last year, AustralianSuper acquired a 70 percent stake in ATN from Singtel. Once the acquisition of Axicom is complete, Singtel’s stake in the combined business will be 18 percent, while AustralianSuper will hold the remainder, the filing said.

Kemp said AustralianSuper would seek more investments in the sector, with plans to double its infrastructure portfolio over the next five years from the current A$31 billion. 

AustralianSuper manages more than A$260 billion in members’ retirement savings on behalf of 2.6 million members as of end-December, making it the country’s largest superannuation fund, the filing said.

Click here to follow more financial news on Shenton Wire.