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RCom reduces debt burden with 51% towers biz sale to Brookfield

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MUMBAI: Reliance Communications, an integrated telecommunications service provider, announced that it has signed term sheet with Brookfield Infrastructure Group for part-sale of its telecom tower business. RCom is selling 51% stake in tower unit for Rs 11,000 crore. The deal involving 45,000 mobile towers will facilitate RCom to lessen debt burden.

Reliance Communications has a net debt of Rs. 42,000 crores as of end-June, which it expects to cut by Rs. 20,000 crore. Reliance had been looking to sell its mobile towers business, and had expected to seal a deal by October, CEO Gurdeep Singh had said earlier.

Under the existing conditions, the specified assets are intended to be transferred from Reliance Infratel Ltd. (RITL) on a going concern basis into a separate SPV, to be owned by Brookfield. RCom will own 49% in the SPV.

RCom will receive an upfront cash payment of Rs 11000 crore, and will also enjoy 49% future economic upside from the towers business, based on certain conditions.

RCom said that, under the term sheet, the specified assets are intended to be transferred from Reliance Infratel (RITL) on a going concern basis into a separate special purpose vehicle (SPV), to be owned by Brookfield. RCom will continue as an anchor tenant on the tower assets, under a long term MSA, for its integrated telecommunications business.

RCom and Brookfield expect considerable growth in tenancies based on increasing 4G offerings by all telecom operators, and the fast accelerating trends in data consumption, which are expected to contribute to significant growth in revenues and profitability for the towers business in the future.

RCom and Brookfield also see several opportunities for consolidation in the towers industry in India that will further enhance growth and value creation in the future. The proposed transaction is subject to definitive documentation, customary approvals and certain other terms and conditions.

RCom will continue as an anchor tenant on the tower assets, under a long-term pact, for its integrated telecom business.

Both companies expect considerable growth in tenancies on the back of increasing 4G offerings by all telecom service providers, and data consumption growth, as they are expected to contribute to significant growth in revenues and profitability for the towers business in the future.

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