India's Reliance Communications (RCom) has drawn up a shortlist of companies interested in buying a controlling stake in tower arm Reliance Infratel.
The operator commenced the process for the sale of a 51% stake in the unit a few weeks ago, and received indicative bids from a number of potential buyers, RCom said in a market update.
RCom has now drawn up a shortlist of credible bidders that will progress to the next round and potentially the negotiation phase. Due diligence on the offers has now been commenced.
In the disclosure, RCom said some of the shortlisted bidders have expressed an interest in acquiring a 100% stake in the tower division, and that proceeds from the sale are expected to “substantially
reduce RCom's overall gross debt during the current financial year.”
RCom has been considering selling its tower operations for some time. Earlier this year American Tower Corporation was rumored to be considering acquiring Reliance Infratel.
Incumbent Indian operators have been exploring selling or otherwise monetizing their tower assets to address debts accrued from recent expensive spectrum auctions and help reduce operational expenses.