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Business News/ Companies / Reliance Communications tower sale said to draw ATC interest
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Reliance Communications tower sale said to draw ATC interest

Sale of a majority stake in Reliance Infratel could fetch a valuation of about Rs20,000 crore including debt

Reliance Communications aims to reduce debt by selling real estate and stakes in its undersea cable assets and digital-television business, according to a February presentation.Premium
Reliance Communications aims to reduce debt by selling real estate and stakes in its undersea cable assets and digital-television business, according to a February presentation.

Mumbai/New York: Reliance Communications Ltd’s (R-Com) sale of Indian wireless infrastructure assets has drawn interest from companies including American Tower Corp., people with knowledge of the matter said.

Reliance Communications, controlled by billionaire Anil Ambani, is in talks to sell a majority stake in tower unit Reliance Infratel Ltd, three of the people said.

The Mumbai-based business could fetch a valuation of about 20,000 crore ($3.1 billion) including debt, two people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.

The sale would help India’s fourth-largest wireless operator by subscribers cut total debt that stood at 38,690 crore at the end of December, company filings show.

Reliance Communications said this month it has asked for investment bank proposals on a plan to “monetize" Reliance Infratel’s tower and fibre assets during the financial year ended March 2016.

ATC has more than 13,000 towers in India, according to its website. The Boston-based company is building about 100 towers monthly in the country and will consider acquisitions that “make sense," chief financial officer Tom Bartlett said at a conference this week.

Discussions are at an early stage and there’s no guarantee an agreement will be reached, the people said.

Rajeev Narayan, a spokesman for Reliance Communications, didn’t immediately reply to an e-mail seeking comment. Matthew Peterson, a representative for ATC, declined to comment.

Reliance Communications aims to reduce debt by selling real estate and stakes in its undersea cable assets and digital-television business, according to a February presentation.

Talks to sell control of the Global Cloud Xchange undersea cable operations to China’s Citic Telecom International Holdings Ltd for more than $500 million have stalled, people with knowledge of the matter said in February.

Reliance Infratel has 43,379 towers across India, the presentation shows.

In 2013, it agreed to share its towers with Reliance Industries Ltd, led by Anil Ambani’s billionaire brother Mukesh Ambani, in a deal valued at about 120 billion rupees. Bloomberg

Bhuma Shrivastava in Mumbai contributed to this story.

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Published: 19 May 2015, 11:56 PM IST
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