RCom closing in on deal to sell tower unit: report

25 Sep 2015
Daily News

India’s Reliance Communications (RCom) is reportedly closing in on a deal for telecom tower business Reliance Infratel, and is now aiming to exit the tower business entirely.

The company is in the final stages of negotiations with four potential bidders, including American Tower Corp and three US investment companies, the EconomicTimesreported, citing sources.

According to the report, two of the bidders are seeking to buy RCom’s entire stake in Reliance Infratel, while the other two are seeking to buy 51%. RCom is eager to completely exit the tower business even if the price per share is slightly lower for the final deal.

RCom plans to use the proceeds from the Infratel sale to reduce its large debt burden, which is currently at over 380 billion rupees ($5.73 billion).

RCom owns a 96% stake in Reliance Infratel, with institutional investors owning the bulk of the remainder.

Reliance Infratel currently owns around 45,000 towers and over 120,00km of domestic fiber across India.

The investment companies involved in the negotiations are Farallon Capital, Carlyle Group and Tillman Capital, according to the report.

RCom revealed in August that it had drawn up a shortlist of potential bidders for Reliance Infratel, and that an undisclosed number of potential buyers had expressed an interest in acquiring 100% of the tower operator.

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