AustralianSuper and Singaporean telecommunications firm Singtel have acquired Axicom, Australia’s largest independent mobile towers owner, from Macquarie Asset Management for A$3.58bn (€2.35bn).

The partners are buying the asset through a joint venture company, Australia Tower Network (ATN).

Axicom operates approximately 2,000 telecommunications sites across all eight states and territories of Australia.

AustralianSuper head of infrastructure, Nik Kemp, 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.

“There were strong synergies between ATN and Axicom. We look forward to bringing these two strong businesses together and leveraging the great opportunity we have to continue to deliver for customers and AustralianSuper members.”

Singtel Group’s chief corporate officer, Lim Cheng Cheng, said: “This acquisition is a unique opportunity to scale up ATN’s operations and expand its customer base (in Australia).

“The investment reinforces Singtel’s commitment as a long-term investor in the Australian telecoms space.”

AustralianSuper acquired a 70% stake in ATN from Singtel in November last year. Following the Axicom acquisition, Singtel’s shareholding in the combined ATN/Axicom business will be 18%, with AustralianSuper at 82%.

Kemp said AustralianSuper would continue to seek further opportunities in this sector, both domestically and globally, as it sought to double its infrastructure portfolio over the next five years from its current A$31bn.

Macquarie Asset Management head of Asia-Pacific, real assets, Frank Kwok, said the level of interest shown in Axicom reflected the quality of the business and the maturity of its towers portfolio.

Macquarie funds acquired the then-Crown Castle Australia, since renamed Axicom, in 2015.

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