Reliance Communications (RCom) announced an agreement to sell its mobile tower assets to private equity firms Tillman Global Holdings and TPG Capital Management.
RCom, India’s fourth largest operator, confirmed in a statement it had signed a non-binding term pact for the sale with the financial firms, which sees the companies enter into an exclusivity agreement valid until 15 January next year.
Finalisation of the deal is still subject to due diligence and regulatory approvals, and “accordingly, there can be no certainty that a transaction will result”.
Although financial details were not publicly announced, the Economic Times reports the deal could amount to as high as INR300 billion ($4 billion). RCom added it intends to use the proceeds from the proposed transaction “only to reduce its debt”.
The long-mooted sale has attracted a lot of private equity interest over the past few months, with US investment groups Farallon Capital, Carlyle and American Tower Corp all linked to the deal.
US-based investment company Tillman, headed up by former Orange CEO Sanjiv Ahuja, and TPG will acquire 100 per cent of Reliance Communications’ towers and related assets, with RCom set to continue as an “anchor tenant” on those tower assets.
Tillman and TPG will “also evaluate the purchase of RCom’s extensive nationwide inter city and intra city optice fibre assets, in a separate and independent transaction”.
Reliance Communications operates approximately 45,000 towers and boasts the country’s largest fibre network.