Reliance Communications (RCOM) has signed an agreement with Brookfield Infrastructure to sell its pan-India tower assets. The entire size of the deal was not disclosed, however RCOM will receive upfront cash payment of Rs 11,000 crore from Brookfield. The telecom operator intends to utilize the proceedings of the sale for the sole purpose of reducing its debt.
Note that the deal is subjected to final documentation, customary approvals, and certain term and condition and is non-binding in nature.
Under the Term Sheet agreement, tower assets will be transferred from Reliance Infratel Ltd into a separate Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), which will be fully owned by Brookfield. “Reliance Communications will continue as an anchor tenant on the tower assets, under a long term MSA, for its integrated telecommunications business,” the company said in a statement.
RCOM and SSTL merger on track: In March, Shareholders of Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL), which owns the MTS brand in India approved the merger of the company with RCOM in a meeting convened by the Rajasthan High Court. The company confirmed this to MediaNama and a spokesperson from SSTL told MediaNama that this was done through a voting system. The company also received mandatory approvals from Rajasthan HC on September 30th and from Bombay HC on October 7th.
Customer base drops after CDMA migration: The company started migrating CDMA customers to 4G in late June, and as it makes the mandatory switch to 4G, the company reported total customer base of 99.9 million at the end of Q1FY17, loosing close to 3.7 million connections during the quarter. In comparison, the company had reported a total subscriber base of 103.6 million at the end of last quarter (Q4 FY16). In the same quarter last year, RCOM had 111.1 million subscribers.
Other recent deals
– In September, RCOM signed documents for merging of its wireless business with Aircel Limited, RCOM said in a statement . Both companies have sent in their definitive proposal in June for regulatory approval.
– In the same month, a Mint report said that RCOM and Reliance Jio had virtually merged their networks as per statements issued by Anil Ambani. Both companies had entered into a strategic partnership to share spectrum to provide LTE services. RCOM and RJio have signed agreements in spectrum allotment in 800 MHz band across 9 Circles from RCOM to Reliance Jio. The companies also agreed to share spectrum in 800 MHz band across 17 Circles.