Telecom operator Idea Cellular on Thursday said it has completed the sale of approximately 9,900 mobile towers to American Tower Corporation’s Indian arm for Rs 40 billion.
“…completion of sale of its (Idea) pan-India standalone tower business, by way of divesting its entire stake in ICISL, 100 per cent subsidiary of Idea, to ATC Telecom Infrastructure Private Limited. The transaction has been closed with an enterprise value of Rs 40 billion for approximately 9,900 standalone towers,” Idea said in a statement.
ATC has already completed acquisition of Vodafone India’s mobile tower for Rs 38.50 billion, which added nearly 10,200 to its portfolio.
The proceeds will be used by both Idea and Vodafone to lower debt of their merged entity.
“The receipt of both these proceeds prior to completion was anticipated and provided for, in the Vodafone India and Idea merger agreement and hence would not affect the agreed terms of the merger, including the amount of debt which Vodafone will contribute to the combined entity at the closing of merger transaction,” the statement said.
The deal brings merger of Vodafone India and Idea, resulting in creation of country’s largest telecom operator with around 430 million subscribers, closer as change in structure of the organisations would have created complexity in document work for clearing standalone tower deals of Idea and Vodafone with ATC.
Idea said post completion of the merger, 6,300 co-located tenancies of the two operators on the combined standalone tower portfolio will collapse into single tenancies over a period of two years without the payment of exit penalties.
“Both Vodafone India and Idea as customers, and ATC as a vendor, has agreed to treat each other as long term preferred partners, subject to existing agreements,” the statement said.
With the closure of deal with Idea, ATC Telecom Infrastructure will have around 68,000 mobile towers in its portfolio. – Business Standard