Vodafone, Idea Cellular sell towers to ATC for INR 78.5 billion

Vodafone, Idea Cellular sell towers to ATC for INR 78.5 billion

India's second and third largest telcos by subscribers, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, have separately agreed to sell their respective standalone tower businesses in India to ATC Telecom Infrastructure Private (ATC TIPL) for an aggregate enterprise value of Rs 78.5 billion or $1.2 billion, an official statement said.

Through a BSE filing on Monday, Idea and Vodafone stated the pan-Indian telecom tower business comprising 20,000 towers with c combined tenanct ratio of 1:1.65 will be sold to ATC, formerly known as Viom. The transactions are expected to be immediately accretive to AFFO per share, are subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval and are expected to close in the first half of 2018. Around 6,300 are used by both Idea and Vodafone and will convert to single-tenancy agreements after the sale. "The parties will work together to further the expansion of high speed mobile networks in India", the companies said.

Idea and Vodafone are also getting merged with each other, excluding the latter's 42% stake in Indus Towers Ltd, heralding the creation of India's largest telecom company in a $23 billion deal.

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The company - which is headed for a merger with Vodafone India - had reported a net profit of Rs 91.5 crore in the July-September quarter of the last fiscal.

As part of the transactions, Vodafone and Idea Cellular would get the service level and process efficiency benefits from American Tower, means these two telecom operators would continue to get usual service from these tower sites. The deal is expected to close in 2018.

In a joint statement, the two companies said Idea will sell its entire holding in Idea Cellular Infrastructure Services Ltd (ICISL) while Vodafone will divest its business undertaking to ATC Infra.

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