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13 November 2017, 10:39 | Jodi Jackson
American Tower To Buy Tower Business From Idea And Vodafone In India For $1.2bln
Stock of Idea was trading 5.62 per cent down at Rs 91.60 on the BSE on Monday.
As industry operating tariffs tumble, voice and data volume growth partially compensated the steep rate fall. Idea will get Rs 4,000 crore (and Vodafone Rs 3,850 crore) from the tower deal if sale completion precedes telcos' merger.
Idea Cellular said it expects to close the new 4G ICR arrangements with Vodafone India at the earliest for an additional 4G coverage in almost 5,000 new towns and neighboring villages for each operator.
The Tower purchase would give Boston-based ATC, which operates nearly 150,000 communications sites globally, an additional 20,000 towers in a country with more than 1 billion mobile-phone subscribers.
The standalone tower businesses of Vodafone India and Idea are pan-Indian passive telecommunication infrastructure businesses, comprising a combined portfolio of approximately 20,000 towers with a combined tenancy ratio of 1.65x as of 30 June 2017, the companies said in a joint statement.
"Both Vodafone India and Idea as customers, and ATC as a mobile network infrastructure provider have agreed to treat each other as long-term preferred partners, subject to existing arrangements". And also counter the bruising price war triggered by Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio Infocomm. The merger is expected to be completed in 2018.
Besides, the depreciation and amortisation charge increased to Rs 2,114.3 crore and interest and financing cost rose to Rs 1,182.9 crore as the company continued to aggressively invest in expanding its 4G footprint, the statement added.
The incumbent operators have blamed competitive pressures triggered by the free and disruptive offers of Jio, for the financial stress in the sector.
The company had a net debt of Rs 54100 crore at the end of September quarter.
The company's tower business reported a standalone revenue of Rs 758.5 crore for the FY17 with a net worth of Rs 662.3 crore.
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