Friday, 17 November, 2017

Idea Cellular posts smaller-than-expected Q2 loss; shares plummet 3

Idea Cellular, Vodafone to sell tower businesses to ATC Telecom for ... Idea, Vodafone India to sell tower business to ATC Telecom Infrastructure
Marta Holmes | 14 November, 2017, 00:42

Idea will sell its entire stake in ICISL, and Vodafone India will sell a business undertaking to ATC TIPL.

Vodafone has agreed to sell its Indian mast and towers business in a deal worth $1.2bn (£900m), it was announced this morning.

Idea will get Rs 4,000 crore for its tower business while Vodafone will get Rs 3,850 crore if the tower deal concludes before the merger of their mobile-phone businesses is completed, the companies said in a statement on Monday.

The deal follows challenges for the blue-chip telco in India, with the entry of rival Reliance Jio sparking a price war in the country's telecoms market.

Vodafone India Ltd and Idea Cellular Ltd on Monday said that they have separately agreed to sell their standalone telecom tower businesses to ATC Telecom Infrastructure Pvt.

"The parties will work together to further the expansion of high speed mobile networks in India", the statement said. The merger is expected to be completed in 2018.

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 United States dollars 23 billion with a 35 percent market share.

Idea and Vodafone India have a total of about 20,000 towers, with 1.65 tenants each on average, as of 30 June 2017.

The merged entity will avoid payment of exit penalties as the combined standalone tower businesses will collapse into single tenancies over a two-year period.

Media reports have said KKR & Co LP, which along with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, already owns over a 10th of Bharti Infratel, the only publicly-traded mast operator in India, is leading a group of investors to take control of the company.

The deal, which now awaits various regulatory approvals, is expected to be completed next year around March.

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