Vodafone India and Idea Cellular have separately agreed to sell their standalone telecom tower business to ATC Telecom Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd for an aggregate enterprise value of Rs 7,850 crore ($1.2 billion). The sale is likely to be completed in the first half of 2018.
After the completion of the sale of the standalone tower business and the proposed merger of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, Vodafone India will receive Rs 3850 crore and Idea will receive Rs 4000 crore. Jim Taiclet, CEO American Tower’s said, “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.”
"Both Vodafone India and Idea as customers, and ATC TIPL as a mobile network infrastructure provider have agreed to treat each other as long-term preferred partners, subject to existing arrangements. The parties will work together to further the expansion of high-speed mobile networks in India," the statement said.
"This transaction follows the Vodafone India/Idea merger announcement of 20 March 2017 whereby the parties announced their intention to sell their individual standalone tower businesses to strengthen the balance sheet of the combined business," the statement further noted.
The Idea-Vodafone merger will create the world’s second-largest and India’s largest telecom firm, overtaking Bharti Airtel. It will almost have 400 million customers with 41 percent revenue market share. The merger is expected to be completed in 2018.