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Brookfield, American Tower Corp & infrastructure fund of IDFC bid for 11,000 towers of Vodafone India

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08/04/2017 | 12:36pm CEST

Global alternative asset management fund Brookfield, American Tower Corp, and local infrastructure fund IDFC Project Equity Infra have separately bid for the 11,000 individual towers of Vodafone India, valued at $600 million, two people with direct knowledge of the development told ET.

The bids were submitted recently and the company will enter into an exclusivity agreement with one of the bidders, said one of the two persons quoted above.

Ahead of their proposed merger, the two companies (Vodafone India and Idea Cellular) swant to sell their tower assets as the merged entity will be asset-light in nature, said a second person quoted above. While Vodafone India has 11,000 towers, Kumar Mangalam Birla- owned Idea Cellular has about 9,000 towers. Morgan Stanley is advising Vodafone and Bank of America Merrill Lynch is the banker to Idea.

Both parties have earlier said they intended to sell their standalone tower assets and stakes in Indus, the world`s largest telecom towers company, before the completion of the broader deal. The merger, the two companies believe, should help reduce debt in the combined entity of about Rs 1.07 lakh crore.

In March this year, Indias second-largest mobile telephone company Vodafone India decided to merge with the third largest telco Idea Cellular to take on the Reliance Groups new telecom push through Jio Infocomm. The merger, which received the approval from antitrust regulator Competition Commission of India, will create the countrys largest mobile telephony company by subscribers.

The winning bidder for Vodafones tower assets will get access to the 9,000 towers of Idea Cellular and the first right of refusal, another person involved in the deal said. Vodafones tower assets are being valued at around $600 million.

This deal does not include Vodafone`s 24% in Indus, which operates 122,000 towers. Bharti Infratel owns 42% stake in Indus Towers, and the rest is owned by Idea Cellular and private equity fund Providence. Emailed queries to the spokespersons of Vodafone India, Brookfield, ATC, and IDFC did not elicit any response. Mobile telephony companies have been trying to monetise infrastructure assets to reduce heavy debt.

It is not a core business at all for telcos.most telcos don`t own towers at all." said a senior official of a mobile telephony company, when asked about monetising the tower assets. I am just saying that, in principle, it makes sense to exit, given that there will be need for funds and also that they are not part of the core business."

(c) All rights are reserved for National Iraqi News Agency / NINA 2017 Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info)., source Middle East & North African Newspapers

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Financials ( INR)
Sales 2018 42 859 M
EBIT 2018 19 354 M
Net income 2018 7 200 M
Debt 2018 -
Yield 2018 15,3%
P/E ratio 2018 -
P/E ratio 2019
Capi. / Sales 2018 2,01x
Capi. / Sales 2019 1,71x
Capitalization 85 942 M
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Sunil Kakar Chief Executive Officer, Director & MD
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