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Singtel-owned Australia Tower Network (ATN) and AustralianSuper have announced the acquisition of Axicom, one of Australia’s leading providers of telecommunications tower infrastructure, for A$3.58 billion.

Axicom owns and operates approximately 2,000 telecommunication sites located in metro and outer-metro locations across all eight states and territories and major cities in Australia.

As ATN’s shareholders, AustralianSuper and Singtel 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 head of infrastructure, Nik Kemp, said Axicom is a high-quality asset that will deliver long-term value to AustralianSuper members.

“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 said.

“Axicom has all of the characteristics we are looking for in an infrastructure asset and there are strong synergies between the two organisations. We look forward to working with the great teams of both ATN and Axicom to bring these two strong businesses together and leverage the great opportunity we have to continue to deliver for customers and AustralianSuper members.”

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

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 will continue to seek further opportunities in this sector both domestically and globally.

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

ATN chief executive officer, Cameron Evans, said ATN was looking forward to broadening the relationship with Axicom’s customers and providing them with access to the over 2000 current ATN sites and more than 565 new sites under construction.

“Bringing together Australia’s two largest independent wireless telecommunications infrastructure operators provides real strategic advantages and strong value creation opportunities. It will also provide greater support for our customers as they continue to deliver essential services to the community such as mobile coverage, internet services, broadcast and emergency services,” Evans said.

“We look forward to working with the team at Axicom to bring our two businesses together and leverage the opportunities we have with our top-quality digital infrastructure to connect Australians for generations to come.”

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