The standalone tower businesses of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular are pan-Indian passive telecom infrastructure businesses, comprising a combined portfolio of approximately 20,000 telecom towers. "The parties will work together to further the expansion of high speed mobile networks in India", the companies said.
The transactions will help ATC strengthen its foothold in India's telecom tower sector.
Idea will use proceeds from the tower sale to expand 4G coverage as well, Himanshu Kapania, the carrier's managing director, said by phone Monday.
In 2015, ATC agreed to acquire a controlling stake in Viom Networks Ltd for $1.2 billion.
In Mar'17, Vodafone India and Idea announced a merger to create India's largest mobile operator worth over Rs. 1.5 lakh crore, with 35% market share. Reliance Communications, struggling under a $7 billion in debt, has also revived efforts to sell a stake in its tower unit Reliance Infratel, after a prospective deal with Brookfield Asset Management fell apart last month.
As per reports, Idea's tower business will be sold at an enterprise value of 40 billion rupees ($613 million) to ATC Telecom Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, a unit of American Tower Corp, Idea Cellular said in a statement.
The standalone tower businesses of Vodafone and Idea comprise a combined portfolio of almost 20,000 towers. Shares of Idea traded at Rs 94.90 a piece, down by 2.22% on the BSE in the early trading hours Monday which then went down by 5.62 per cent down at Rs 91.60 on BSE. The sale of the tower business is likely to be completed in the first half of 2018.