Home / Industry / Telecom /  Reliance Communications expects to seal mobile tower deal in 2 weeks

Mumbai: Reliance Communications Ltd (R-Com) expects to reach a deal to sell its mobile phone masts business to a group of companies led by buyout firm TPG Capital Management LP in the next two weeks, its chief executive said on Monday.

R-Com last month signed a non-binding pact to sell the business to TPG and Tillman Global Holdings LLC, a U.S. firm that invests in telecoms and energy infrastructure businesses.

People familiar with the matter had told Reuters R-Com expected an enterprise value of about 230 billion rupees ($3.5 billion) for the unit, which has a portfolio of about 45,000 masts.

The asset sale is part of R-Com’s efforts to pare some of its 404.79 billion ($5.97 billion) as of December-end in debt on its books, as the wireless mobile phone carrier looks at deploying cash towards improving its network.

R-Com, controlled by chairman Anil Ambani, on Friday posted a 14.9% drop in its quarterly net profit, as cut-throat competition for customers in a crowded mobile phone market squeezed margins.

India is the world’s second-biggest market for mobile phone users but tough competition has led to low margins for voice services, and telecom providers are banking on more lucrative data services to lift earnings in the coming years.

R-Com chief executive Vinod Sawhny said on Monday the company had increased its capital expenditure outlook for this fiscal year that ends on 31 March by 10 billion to 40 billion to expand its 3G coverage in the country.

Reliance Group companies have sued HT Media Ltd, Mint’s publisher, and nine others in the Bombay high court over a 2 October 2014 front-page story that they have disputed. HT Media is contesting the case.

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