The sole listed telecom tower firm of India, Bharti Infratel, is searching a huge stake acquirement in bigger peer Indus Towers that might be the biggest consolidation decision in the sector.
“The panel of directors of Bharti Infratel in their conference conducted on October 30, 2017, has agreed to evaluate and explore acquirement of share in one or more tranches in Indus Towers, with the goal of converting it into a wholly owned subsidiary partial subsidiary of Bharti Infratel,” the tower arm of Bharti Airtel, the Sunil Mittal-controlled firm, claimed to the media in a stock exchange filing this week after trading hours.
Bharti Infratel is expected to soon constitute a panel-level committee to inspect the Indus share acquirement chances, claimed a person with direct awareness of the issue. The firm, on the other hand, has not pointed to any instantaneous timeline on financial details or a potential deal closure.
Majority controlled by Bharti Airtel—biggest telecom company in India—Bharti Infratel already grasps 42% of Indus Towers, which is amongst the biggest wireless infrastructure firms with 123,000 towers in the world. The rest of the shares in Indus are gripped by Idea Cellular (11.15%), Vodafone India (42%), and Providence Equity Partners (4.85%). Infratel on its own operates 39,264 towers.
Indus and Bharti Infratel combined presently run almost 41% of the entire towers in India and contribute for 49% of co-spots. Shares of Bharti Infratel increased by 2.52% this week to close at Rs 429.90.
Media previously had reported that Bharti Infratel might buy out most or the entire 58% stake holding of other associates such as Idea Cellular, Vodafone India, and Providence Equity Partners in Indus Towers, in what was expected to be the stage one of a 2-part contract.
Media further had posted that the stage two was expected to witness a group led by KKR (the U.S. buyout fund) and comprising CPPIB (Canada Pension Plan Investment Board), GIC Singapore, and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority to acquire an Indus-Bharti Infratel untied entity for $11 Billion.
Vodafone is expected to keep hold of an 8–10% share to enjoy any upcoming deals.