Reliance Communications (RCom) is edging closer to a complete exit from its tower business, as the mooted sale enters its final stages with four bidders remaining.
The company originally launched a formal process to sell a 51 per cent stake in Reliance Infratel in May, and shortlisted companies last month, which included bidders seeking a full takeover.
The company has stated in the past it would prefer to sell up entirely.
According to Economic Times, out of the four bidders, which includes US-based investment groups Farallon Capital, Carlyle, Tillman Capital and infrastructure group American Tower Corp (ATC), two are keen to buyout RCom’s entire 96 per cent stake, while the other two want a majority 51 per cent.
The remaining 4 per cent is owned by other parties.
It remains unknown as to which parties are seeking a complete buyout, but it is thought RCom will opt to exit completely, even though such a deal will generate a slightly lower valuation, “as it needs the funds to reduce its debt”, a source told ET. RCom’s debt stood at approximately INR386 billion ($5.91 billion) in June.
Reliance Infratel, meanwhile, is valued at between INR220 billion and INR240 billion, and holds INR80 billion in debt.
People directly involved in the process said due diligence should be completed by the first week of October, with final bids then set to be submitted. The deal could then close between 20-22 October.
Reliance Infratel is India’s third largest tower company with approximately 45,000 towers, and also boasts the country’s largest fibre network.