RCom said to find new buyer for towers

Dylan Bushell-Embling
14 Nov 2011

India's Reliance Communications is said to have found a potential alternative buyer for its tower unit, and to be likely to sell the assets off by the end of the year for some $4 billion.

A consortium of private equity players including Blackstone and Carlyle are hammering out a deal with RCom, sources toldTimes of India.

According to one source, the deal could value RCom's tower assets at over $3.5 billion. But if the rumors that Reliance Industries plans to seek a tower sharing deal with RCom for its TD-TLE ambitions prove true, the deal could be worth even more – around $4 billion.

The deal would also make an acquisition of the tower business more attractive to private equity firms, as it would increase the tenancy ratio of the towers.

RCom had arranged to sell its tower business to GTL Infrastructure in 2010 for around $11 billion, but the deal collapsed later in the year. The company is seeking ways to reduce its roughly $7 billion in net debt.

RCom last week separately reported a 43% slump in profit for India's second quarter to 2.52 billion rupees ($50.5 million), on 4.6% lower revenue of 47.9 billion rupees.

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