Idea Cellular, Vodafone India to sell towers business to ATC Telecom

Idea Cellular, Vodafone to sell tower businesses to ATC Telecom for ...

Idea Cellular, Vodafone to sell tower businesses to ATC Telecom for ...

Vodafone India has also agreed to sell its standalone tower business to ATC Telecom for an enterprise value of 38.50 billion rupees.

Earlier this year, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular announced their merger in order to become the largest telecom player in the country. Ltd for about $1.2 billion.

Idea will use proceeds from the tower sale to expand 4G coverage as well, Himanshu Kapania, the carrier's managing director, said by phone Monday. Idea Cellular Infrastructure Services Ltd, a unit of Idea Cellular, had around 9,900 towers with a tenancy ratio of 1.80 as of 30 September 2017.

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Both Idea and Vodafone are inching closer to completing a $23 billion merger that is set to create India's largest mobile phone company that leapfrogs Bharti Airtel.

The merger is aimed at dominating a market which billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd has disrupted with free voice calls and low data prices. It will have nearly 400 million customers with 35% customer and 41% revenue market share.

Vodafone will net $592m from the deal with Indian partner Idea Cellular receiving $615m. The merger is expected to be completed in 2018.

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Idea will sell its entire stake in ICISL, and Vodafone India will sell a business undertaking to ATC TIPL. In 2014-15, ICIS reported total income of Rs238 crore, according to filings with the Registrar of Companies. The transactions are expected to be immediately accretive to AFFO per share, are subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval and are expected to close in the first half of 2018.

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.

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