SingTel - UOB Kay Hian 2021-10-04: Monetise Optus Tower Assets, Building A Regional Data Centre Presence

SINGTEL (SGX:Z74) | SGinvestors.io SINGTEL (SGX:Z74)

SingTel - Monetise Optus Tower Assets, Building A Regional Data Centre Presence

  • Optus is divesting a 70% stake in its tower assets for A$1.9b. This values the assets at 38x EV/EBITDA as Optus losses controlling stake in the infraco. The proceeds will be ‘recycled’ back into Singapore and Australia’s 5G infrastructure and other growth opportunities.
  • Separately, SingTel announced the creation of a regional data centre business with Gulf Energy and Telkom Indonesia. The data centre may be worth S$7-8b in 5 years’ time.
  • Maintain BUY rating on SingTel with DCF-based target price of S$2.75.

Optus announced monetisation of Optus tower asset for A$1.9b a fair valuation of 38x EV/EBITDA given the loss of control.

  • Optus announced that it is selling a 70% stake in Australia Tower Network (ATN) - a wholly-owned subsidiary that houses Optus’ towers - to AustralianSuper for A$1.9b. The transaction involves 2,312 of Optus mobile towers with a tenancy ratio of 1.6x. Optus will continue to have access to the towers through a 20-year lease agreement with ATN. Optus is also committed to build a minimum of 565 sites over the next three years as part of its integral 5G network planning.
  • The stake sale values ATN at 38x FY21 EV/EBITDA, or EV/sites of ~A$1m/tower. The valuation appears to be a premium vis-à-vis Telstra’s recent tower sales and appealing vs traditional telco multiples of 8-12x EV/EBITDA. We note that the premium is reflective of the loss of control by Optus (who will retain only a 30% minority stake in ATN). The deal is expected to complete by end-Oct 21 and SingTel would record an estimated net investment gain of S$0.4m.

Capital recycling to fund future growth.

  • The divestment is in line with SingTel’s strategy to reallocate capital to drive core business growth and generate sustainable cash flow to enhance shareholders’ value. The net proceeds of A$1.9b will be utilised to:
    1. support 5G rollout in Singapore and Australia,
    2. expand its B2B digital business via NCS, and
    3. strengthen its balance sheet to pay sustainable dividends.
  • We project a dividend yield of 4- 5% from SingTel for FY22-24, based on a dividend payout of 70%.

SingTel to create a green regional data centre with potential S$8b valuation within five years.

  • To capitalise on accelerating data on management’s guidance of S$10m/MW CAPEX requirement.

Positive monetisation exercise by Singtel.

  • We are positive on the above monetisation exercise to drive future help SingTel bridge the current market valuation gap as a conglomerate.

The end game: A regional digital infra player.

  • Beyond unlocking value, the regional digital infrastructure platform across multiple asset classes.


  • Earnings revision: none.
  • Key risks include heightened regulatory risk across the region, especially India as its 31.7%-owned-associate Airtel was recently slapped with an Rp10.5b (S$192m) penalty for allegedly denying inter-connectivity to Reliance Jio in 2016, which affected quality of service.


Chong Lee Len UOB Kay Hian Research | Chloe Tan Jie Ying UOB Kay Hian | https://research.uobkayhian.com/ 2021-10-04
SGX Stock Analyst Report BUY MAINTAIN BUY 2.750 SAME 2.750