Vodafone, Idea to sell mobile-towers to ATC for Rs. 7850cr

Vodafone, Idea to sell mobile-towers to ATC for Rs. 7850cr

A man speaks on his mobile phone as he sits in front of a shop displaying the Idea Cellular Ltd's logo on its shutter in Mumbai, India, April 28, 2014.

"The receipt of these proceeds prior to completion was anticipated and provided for in the merger agreement and hence would not affect the agreed terms of the Vodafone India and Idea merger, including the amount of debt which Vodafone will contribute to the combined company at completion", the statement read.

The deal will make American Tower Corp one of the top players in the tower infrastructure market in India along with Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers.

Idea Cellular, part of the Aditya Birla conglomerate, on Monday reported its fourth straight quarterly loss, mainly due to it having to compete against Jio's series of cut-price service offers.

The deal also comes as Idea seeks to pay down debt as it prepares to merge with Vodafone India to surpass Bharti Airtel Ltd.as the country's largest phone operator by subscribers. Vodafone India had 10,230 towers and a tenancy ratio of 1.58. Accordingly, private equity funds KKR and Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) had emerged as the top contenders.

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The sale of tower business is subject to regulatory and other approvals.

Vodafone India Ltd and Idea Cellular Ltd on Monday said that they have separately agreed to sell their standalone telecom tower businesses to ATC Telecom Infrastructure Pvt.

Revenue was down 20.3 percent on a year ago at 75.11 billion rupees, while average monthly revenue per user fell 6.4 percent from the previous quarter to 132 rupees.

The scrip ended at Rs 93.55, down 3.61 per cent on BSE. While Idea and Vodafone are merging their mobile-phone businesses, market leader Bharti Airtel Ltd has snapped up several smaller operators.

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