Reliance Communications sells its tower business

16 Oct 2016 | Written by Supriya Kaur; Edited by Gaurav

Reliance Communications (RCom) has agreed to sell a majority stake in its mobile phone tower business.

RCom will retain 49% and sell 51% of the stake to the Brookfield Infrastructure Group, a Canadian company, for Rs. 11,000 crore in cash.

The restructuring at RCom is underway essentially to reduce the debt burden of the company.

RCom is the most indebted amongst all mobile-service providers.

In context: Restructuring underway at Anil Ambani-owned RCom

DetailsReliance Group's most recent deals

A month ago, Reliance Communications and Aircel announced their merger creating the 4th largest telecom company in the country.

Earlier this month, Anil Ambani owned, Reliance Group, again made the headlines for its joint venture with Dassault Aviation for landing a massive Rs. 30,000 crore defence contract.

Two days ago, Zee announced its decision to acquire Reliance Broadcast Networks for around Rs. 1900 crore.

Brookfield Group

The proposed buyer of Reliance's mobile tower business, Brookfield Infrastructure Group, is a leading infrastructure group, based out of Canada. It is a global asset management company and has assets worth nearly $250 billion.
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RCom aims to be debt-free by 2017

HowRCom aims to be debt-free by 2017

RCom, has set targets to be debt-free by end 2017 considering that RCom is the most indebted mobile-phone service company in India. Its debt is approximately Rs 42,000 crore.

Proceeds of Rs. 11,000 crore from proposed sale of 51% stake in mobile-tower business, will be utilised to reduce RCom's debt burden.

RCom is expected to monetize its real-estate to raise additional Rs. 5,000 crore.

16 Oct 2016Reliance Communications sells its tower business

DetailsTerms of the deal

According to the term sheet signed between RCom and Brookfield, RCom will retain 49% as significant growth is expected in telecom tower tenancies due to growth in 4G networks and rising data consumption.

The 51% stake will be transferred to a company owned by Brookfield.

RCom will not be expected to incur operational or capital expenditure to manage its tower business.

Valuation and deal status

RCom's mobile tower assets have been valued at over Rs. 21,500 crore. The proposed sale of the tower assets is subject to "definitive documentation, customary approvals and certain other terms and conditions." There is therefore no certainty that this deal will go through.
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17 Oct 2016Investors decry RCom's plans

RCom's recent disclosure of a non binding term sheet with Brookfield Infrastructure for RCom's tower assets has drawn flak from investors.

Despite RCom's assurances that the Aircel merger and the Brookfield tower deal would reduce debt by 60%, RCom shares have plunged 6%.

According to the Brookfield deal, RCom "will enjoy 49% future economic upside from the towers business, based on certain conditions."