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Board of Ideal Cellular approves sale of tower business held by subsidiary
14 November 2017, 12:45 | Jan Cross
Idea Cellular’s revenue from operations fell about 20% to Rs7,466 crore
According to media reports, the company is planning to beef up its tower assets before selling a controlling stake in the business to a consortium led by private equity firm KKR & Co.
Idea Cellular board has approved the sale of subsidiary Idea Cellular Infrastructure Services Limited (ICISL), its standalone tower business to ATC Telecom for an enterprise value of Rs 4,000 crore.
Jim Taiclet, American Tower's Chief Executive Officer stated, "We expect the addition of these two high quality portfolios to be highly complementary to our existing assets and to contribute to long-term leasing growth as India's leading mobile operators accelerate their 4G network deployments".
Ever since it entered the market in September previous year, Reliance Jio has been pursuing a strategy of slashing prices to attract subscribers.
The sale of tower businesses by the mobile operators comes after cut-throat pricing unleashed by new entrant Reliance Jio Infocomm, backed by billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries, roiled the industry.
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Earlier this year, Vodafone India and Idea had agreed to merge their operations to create the country's largest telecom operator worth of more than $23 billion with a 35 per cent market share. Jio's pricing strategy has hurt rivals' profits as they try to match low tariffs and also pushed some carriers to consolidate operations.
Vodafone will net $592m from the deal with Indian partner Idea Cellular receiving $615m.
"This transaction follows the Vodafone India/Ideamerger announcement of March 20, 2017 whereby the parties announced their intention to sell their individual standalone tower businesses to strengthen the balance sheet of the combined business", it said. Mint had reported that Idea was also in talks to sell its entire stake in Indus to another buyer with the consent of Bharti Airtel.
The agreement, subject to closing conditions and regulatory approval, is expected to be completed during the first half of 2018, ATC said in a statement on Monday.
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