American Tower Corp is acquiring a stake in Indian tower firm Viom Networks.
Tata is the largest shareholder in Viom with a 54% stake. The conglomerate will retain a minority holding of up to 26% in the firm in a move aimed at assuring ATC that Tata Teleservices will lease towers to Viom at preferential rates.
Minority shareholder The Srei Group, which has a stake of 18.5%, will divest its holding in Viom entirely. The remainder of the company is distributed between 4 private equity firms, all of which will be required to sell their stakes as their 7-year incubation period draws to a close.
Viom has around 41,000 towers, and the deal has valued the unit at $2.6 billion. This figure includes debt equating to roughly a third of this sum. ATC’s board is expected to approve the deal imminently.
The deal has been mooted since the start of 2015, but died down due to disagreements over the unit’s value. Negotiations picked back up in May, but it appears that Tata and Srei failed to bring land their desired price of $3.5 billion for Viom.
Currently, ATC operates around 10,000 towers in India.