Telecom operators Vodafone India Ltd and Idea Cellular Ltd on Monday said they would separately sell their mobile tower business to American Tower Corp for a total price of Rs 7,852 crore, The Hindu reported. The two operators own about 20,000 towers.
“Both Vodafone India and Idea as customers, and American Tower Corp as a mobile network infrastructure provider, have agreed to treat each other as long-term preferred partners, subject to existing arrangements,” Vodafone India and Idea Cellular said in a joint statement. “The parties will work together to further the expansion of high speed mobile networks in India”.
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. “We expect the addition of these two high quality portfolios [Vodafone India and Idea Cellular] to be highly complementary to our existing assets, and to contribute to long-term growth as India’s leading mobile operators accelerate their 4G network deployments,” American Tower Corp Chief Executive Officer Jim Taiclet said according to The Hindu.
If the towers are sold before the merger between Vodafone and Idea, the former will earn Rs 4,000 crore while the latter will get a little more than Rs 3,850 crore. The merger is expected to create the country’s largest telecom company with Rs 80,000 crore in revenue.