GTL to buy Reliance tower biz: report

Nicole McCormick
17 Jun 2010

Indian operator Reliance Communications (RCom) has reportedly agreed to sell a major stake in its tower business to a local tower firm, GTL Infrastructure.

Under the deal’s structure, RCom’s tower subsidiary Reliance Infratel will not be owned by the cellco, but in order to make it independent of the mobile operations it will be owned by chairman Anil Ambani and RCom shareholders.

According to the Economic Times, GTL chief Manoj Tirodkar will take a 30% stake in Infratel, with GTL shareholders to emerge with a 24% interest, for a total 150 billion rupees ($3.25b) in cash.

Anil Ambani will have a 26% stake and shareholders will receive the final 24% stake.

RCom announced on Monday it was in advanced talks with several domestic and international investors over the sale of Reliance Infratel to help clear its $6.2 billion debt.

RCom said a deal was imminent and would create the “world’s largest independent telecom infrastructure company.”

Reliance Infratel owns 54,000 towers; GTel owns around 10,000 towers.

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