American Tower buys Essar's tower arm for $430m

Nicole McCormick
25/02/2010
News
Daily News

An affiliate of American Tower has agreed to purchase Indian tower firm Essar Telecom Infrastructure Private (ETIPL) for $430 million in cash.

American Tower said that its wholly-owned Indian subsidiary Transcend had entered into a definitive stock purchase agreement to acquire ETIPL, which owns 4,450 towers in 12 circles.

The deal will increase the company's wireless communications site portfolio in India 7,000 sites.

The $430 million price tag includes the “assumption of ETIPL's net debt and other liabilities,” said the firm.

The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to be close by the end of the second quarter.

“ETIPL has built a substantial portfolio of attractive and well-located towers, a marquee client base and has one of the highest tenancy ratios [of 1.8x] in the business,” said Essar group director for strategy and M&A, Vikash Saraf.

“Going forward, the company [American Tower] can look forward to significant growth and consolidate its position in this space.”

The deal is American Tower’s third deal in India in 12 months, following the acquisition of Xcel Telecom’s 1,700 towers in February last year and its purchase of Transcend Infrastructure in October 2009.

The proceeds will be used by Essar to help fund Vodafone India’s 3G auction bid, said Business Standard. Essar owns 33% of Vodafone India.

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