The parent company of Optus, Singtel, has sold a 70% stake in its Australian tower business, Australia Tower Network (ATN), to AustralianSuper for AU$1.9 billion.
The deal will cover 2,312 towers and rooftop sites, with Optus signing a long-term lease with ATN as well as being the anchor tenant for 565 sites to be built over the next three years as part of the telco’s 5G rollout. The initial lease term is 20 years with options thereafter.
“The sale of these assets positions Optus well for the future as it provides capital to support core business growth while importantly allowing us to maintain the competitive advantage of our network’s active elements which continue to top independent reports on speed and quality of our network,” Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin said.
“There has been strong interest from a competitive field of high-quality prospective buyers, and we are pleased with the outcome of the sales process. We very much look forward to a bright future partnering with Aussie Super, an iconic Australian infrastructure investor.”
The deal is expected to be completed by the end of October.
Telstra recently sold a 49% stake in its InfraCo Towers business for AU$2.8 billion after being approached by a consortium including the Future Fund, Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation, and Sunsuper. That business, now dubbed Amplitel, owns 8,200 towers across Australia.
In June, Aware Super along with Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets picked up Vocus for AU$3.5 billion.
Update at 11:50am AEST, October 1: Clarified that Singtel is selling the towers, not Optus as originally reported.