Reliance Communications (RCom) has received bids from five to six companies, including American Tower and private-equity firm Carlyle, to acquire a majority stake in its tower unit.
The bids reportedly would value Reliance Infratel, the country’s third-largest tower company, at as much as INR240 billion ($3.75 billion). The company has about 45,000 towers and also has India’s largest fibre network.
RCom, the country’s fourth-largest operator with an 11 per cent market share, announced in May it was looking to sell off at least a 51 per cent stake in Infratel.
The deal is expected to close in September or October after due diligence is carried out over the next two months, the Economic Times reported. Standard Chartered and SBI Capital Markets are handling the sale.
The country’s largest operator Bharti Airtel raised $310 million in February through a secondary sale of shares in its towers unit Bharti Infratel, with the proceeds earmarked primarily for debt reduction.
The sales represented 3 per cent of the total share capital of Bharti Infratel and reduced Airtel’s interest to 72 per cent.
Indus Tower – a joint venture between Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular – is the market leader with 115,000 towers, while second ranked Bharti Infratel has about 86,000 towers.