Brookfield, IFM Mull Bids For Singtel’s Australia Towers

Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and IFM Investors Pty are considering bidding for Singapore Telecommunications Ltd.’s portfolio of Australian mobile phone towers, according to people familiar with the matter, joining a crowded field of possible suitors for the digital infrastructure assets.

A deal for the towers, held under Singtel’s Australian subsidiary, Optus, could value the assets at about A$2 billion ($1.5 billion), the people said, asking not to be named discussing confidential matters. First round offers may be due as soon as later this month, the people said.

American Tower Corp. is also among the potential bidders, the people said. A group known as Symphony Consortium, consisting of local telecom operator Stilmark Holdings Pty with U.S. provider ATN International Inc. and Canadian pension investor OMERS Infrastructure Management Inc. said in November it plans to participate in the sale.

Deliberations are ongoing and the prospective suitors could decide not to proceed with offers, the people said. Representatives for American Tower, Brookfield, IFM and Singtel declined to comment. A representative for Symphony Consortium did not respond to requests for comment.

The potential sale comes amid a series of sizable telecommunication towers deals in recent months. Spain’s Cellnex Telecom SA agreed in November to buy CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd.’s European telecommunication towers for about $12 billion, while American Tower inked a deal in January to buy a portfolio of towers in Europe and South America from a unit of Telefonica SA for about $9.4 billion.

Telstra Corp., Optus’s main rival in the Australian telecommunications market, said in March that plans to sell a stake in its own towers arm were on track, and that binding offers would be due in the second quarter of 2022.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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