ATC targets Reliance tower biz for expansion

American Tower Corporation (ATC) has shown interest in buying a majority stake in telecom tower business Reliance Infratel from Reliance Communications, said a Bloomberg report.

The valuation of the Indian wireless infrastructure assets could be nearly $3.1 billion including debt. Reliance Infratel has 43,379 towers across India.

The sale of majority stake in telecom tower business will assist the fourth-largest wireless operator to reduce total debt that stood at INR 386.9 billion at the end of December.

Reliance Communications said this month it has asked for investment bank proposals on a plan to monetize Reliance Infratel’s tower and fiber assets during the financial year ended March 2016, said the Bloomberg report.

India telecom tower
ATC has more than 13,000 towers in India. The Boston-based company is building about 100 towers monthly in the country and will consider acquisitions that make sense, ATC Chief Financial Officer Tom Bartlett said at a conference this week.

ATC is buying more than 1,100 telecom towers in two deals in Brazil and Nigeria worth as much as $2.2 billion combined – to increase the total number of towers to 88,000 towers globally.

Reliance Communications aims to reduce debt by selling real estate and stakes in its undersea cable assets and DTH business. Earlier discussions to sell control of the Global Cloud Xchange undersea cable operations to China’s Citic Telecom International Holdings for more than $500 million have stalled.

In 2013, Reliance Infratel agreed to share its telecom towers with Reliance Jio Infocomm, led by Anil Ambani’s billionaire brother Mukesh, in a deal valued at about INR 120 billion, to assist it in 4G roll out.

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