Singtel-backed Australia Tower Network (ATN) won an auction for Macquarie Asset Management’s domestic tower company Axicom for AUD3.6 billion ($2.7 billion), a move bosses stated significantly enhanced its footprint.

Macquarie noted it entered into binding agreements with ATN for the sale of Axicom, which owns and operates about 2,000 towers across Australia.

ATN is co-owned by investment fund AustralianSuper: its head of infrastructure Nik Kemp explained the acquisition complements the tower company’s existing infrastructure portfolio and will create “a provider with a truly national footprint that will connect the vast majority of Australian families and businesses”.

Kemp added ATN is looking to double its infrastructure portfolio over the next five years, expecting significant growth in demand for digital infrastructure and ready to consider future opportunities.

Singtel sold a 70 per stake in ATN to AustralianSuper in October 2021.

After the Axicom deal closes, Singtel’s shareholding will be 18 per cent, with AustralianSuper holding 82 per cent.

ATN CEO Cameron Evans stated the combination of the country’s largest independent wireless infrastructure businesses offered “strategic advantages and strong value creation opportunities”.

The company currently operates 2,300 sites, which are used by Singtel-owned Optus under a long term lease agreement.

Optus will also be the anchor tenant on 565 new towers built over the next three years.