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Indian telecom giants to create tower holding company?

Three of the largest operators in India – Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular - are reportedly planning on creating a holding company for their passive infrastructure towers.

Although the formation of a separate firm has not yet been confirmed by any of the operators, an executive claiming to be “familiar with the development” has stated that the proposed holding company structure aims to “collectively monetise their tower assets.”

Indus Towers, the existing joint venture between the three operators, would almost certainly be made a subsidiary of any newly-created holding company. The tower assets currently retained by Vodafone and Idea Cellular would also likely be handed to the new firm, along with Bharti subsidiary Bharti Infratel.

The amount of shares that each operator is granted in the new company will likely be in proportion to the tower assets that it currently owns.

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