Sunday, 17 December, 2017

American Tower boosts India presence with $1.2B site deal

Idea Cellular, Vodafone to sell tower businesses to ATC Telecom for ... Idea, Vodafone India to sell tower business to ATC Telecom Infrastructure
Jo Caldwell | 14 November, 2017, 00:44

Stock of Idea was trading 5.62 per cent down at Rs 91.60 on the BSE in early trade.

In 2015, ATC agreed to acquire a controlling stake in Viom Networks Ltd for $1.2 billion.

"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", said Jim Taiclet, ATC's CEO. 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.

Under this merger, Vodafone India will get an implied enterprise value of Rs. 82,800 crores and Idea Rs. 72,200 crores. The companies noted that in the event that the completion of today's sale precedes the completion of the proposed merger, both expected next year, Vodafone India will receive INR38.5 billion ($592 million).

The deal will make American Tower Corp one of the top players in the tower infrastructure market in India along with Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers. It will have nearly 400 million customers with 35% customer and 41% revenue market share.

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Idea will sell its entire stake in ICISL, and Vodafone India will sell a business undertaking to ATC TIPL. Jio's pricing strategy has hurt rivals' profits as they try to match low tariffs and also pushed some carriers to consolidate operations.

American Tower said the latest acquisition would be immediately accretive to its adjusted funds from operations per share, with the deal expected to be completed in the first half of 2018, subject to regulatory approvals.

The standalone tower businesses of Vodafone and Idea comprise a combined portfolio of almost 20,000 towers.

Mint had reported in February that Idea Cellular was in talks to sell its tower assets in two separate deals thereby marking its complete exit from the tower business in which ATC had emerged the frontrunner to buy around 11,000 standalone towers from Idea.

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