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Brookfield gets govt's approval for purchase of Reliance telecom tower assets

ATC has completed acquisition of Vodafone India’s 10,000 standalone telecom towers but the deal to purchase Idea Cellular’ standalone towers is yet to be completed. Photo: Indranil Bhoumik/MintPremium
ATC has completed acquisition of Vodafone India’s 10,000 standalone telecom towers but the deal to purchase Idea Cellular’ standalone towers is yet to be completed. Photo: Indranil Bhoumik/Mint

  • Telecom ministry allowed Brookfield to take control of Reliance Jio Infratel Pvt. through Tower Infrastructure Trust
  • The endorsement from the government came about a year after it was proposed

India’s government has approved Brookfield Asset Management Inc.’s proposal to acquire a 252 billion rupees ($3.4 billion) stake in a trust that manages the wireless infrastructure of the nation’s biggest mobile-phone service provider, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The telecom ministry allowed Brookfield to take control of Reliance Jio Infratel Pvt. through Tower Infrastructure Trust, the people said, asking not to be identified before a public announcement. The proposal was cleared by the finance and home ministries as well as the central bank in July, the people said.

The endorsement from the government -- about a year after it was proposed -- will help Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani add to the more than $20 billion he has raised by selling stakes in his technology venture, Jio Platforms Ltd.

A spokesman for the finance ministry could not be reached on his mobile phone, while representatives for the communications ministry, home ministry and central bank didn’t immediately respond to queries seeking comment. A spokesman for Reliance declined to comment.

Ambani had planned to use the proceeds to repay “existing financial liabilities" and acquire stake his flagship Reliance Industries Ltd. doesn’t own in Reliance Jio Infratel, according to a statement in July last year.

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