RCom expects to get bids for tower business in two weeks

Thomas K. Thomas New Delhi | Updated on September 18, 2011 Published on September 18, 2011

syed safawi

Reliance Communications is expecting to get commercial bids for its tower business over the next two weeks. The company said that the deal to sell majority stake in Reliance Infratel should conclude over the next 2-3 months.

Speaking to Business Line, Mr Syed Safawi, President, Reliance Communications' wireless business, said that discussions with prospective partners are at an advanced stage.

“Several parties have shown interest and we have had a number of rounds of discussions. They have just been to our data room and now we are expecting firm commercial bids in the next 2-3 weeks.”

Stake sale

He said that the company will sell between 51-95 per cent stake in the tower business. Reliance Communications has a 10-year tenancy agreement with the infrastructure company, which will continue post the equity sale. The agreement also has in-built rent escalation clause over the 10-year period.

“We expect the entire deal to be signed and sales over the next two months,” Mr Safawi said.

This is the second attempt by the company to sell stake in the tower company. Reliance had earlier announced a partnership with GTL Infrastructure but that deal fell through after the latter pulled out.

While Mr Safawi declined to name the prospective bidders, another Indian tower firm Viom Networks had earlier pulled out of the race. Viom had said that there were differences in the valuation.

Settling debts

The Anil Ambani-promoted Reliance Communications is hoping to settle at least half of its debts from the process of the equity sale. RCom has debt of around Rs 32,000 crore. Reliance Infratel owns about 50,000 towers across the country.

Published on September 18, 2011
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