ATC may soon buy control of Viom Networks

08 Sep 2015

American Tower Corp (ATC) is reportedly poised to acquire a majority stake in Indian tower operator Viom Networks, in a deal which will expand its tower portfolio in India by about 41,000.

ATC is finally closing in on a deal to acquire the Viom stake, with the board expected to approve the deal this week, the Economic Times reported, citing sources.

The deal is expected to value Viom at around 190 billion rupees ($2.84 billion), inclusive of 65 billion rupees in debt.

But ATC is not acquiring the whole company, with the Tata Group expected to retain a minority stake. Tata Teleservices currently owns 54% of the company.

Srei Group, which owns 18.5%, is expected to exit entirely. The remainder is owned by multiple private equity firms, which need to sell their stake because the seven-year gestation period has ended.

ATC and Viom have been negotiating the planned transaction for months, with negotiations stalling over the price and over Viom shareholders considering public listing instead of a sale.

Viom Networks provides towers to Tata Teleservices, Uninor, Aircel and Vodafone India. As well as its existing towers, the company has another 1,000 in construction.

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