RCom planning to divest Indian towers business

Indian number four Reliance Communication (RCom) is planning to divest at least a majority holding in its tower business, Reliance Infratel.

The tower unit is India’s third largest, boasting around 45,000 towers and the country’s largest fibre network. RCom is looking to sell its entire holding in the unit, but would accept the divestment of a 51% stake.

RCom is aiming to raise between INR200 billion and INR250 billion ($3.13 billion and $3.9 billion) from the sale. According to the Economic Times, it is choosing between Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and JM Financial to help it find a buyer.

Within the next 2 weeks RCom will announce its choice of banker, and will then press ahead with the sale process which it aims to complete by the end of 2015. The operator is looking to reduce its debt – Reliance Infratel currently owes around INR80-100 billion – and divesting the unit will allow it to focus on its core wireless network.

RCom continues to deploy its 4G network, and would reportedly rent space from Reliance Infratel’s buyers if it manages to sell the whole unit.

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