Idea Cellular (“Idea”), has announced the completion of sale of its pan-India standalone tower business, by way of divesting its entire stake in ICISL (100% subsidiary of Idea), to ATC Telecom Infrastructure Private Limited (“ATC”). The transaction has been closed with an enterprise value of Rs. 40 billion for approximately 9,900 standalone towers.
Vodafone’s sale of its standalone tower business to ATC has already been completed earlier for an enterprise value of Rs. 38.5 billion. Post the completion of Vodafone India and Idea merger, ~6,300 co-located tenancies of the two operators on the combined standalone tower portfolio will collapse into single tenancies over a period of two years without the payment of exit penalties. Both Vodafone India and Idea as customers, and ATC as a vendor, have agreed to treat each other as long-term preferred partners, subject to existing arrangements.
The receipt of both these proceeds prior to completion was anticipated and provided for, in the Vodafone India and Idea merger agreement and hence would not affect the agreed terms of the merger, including the amount of debt which Vodafone will contribute to the combined entity at the closing of merger transaction.
With this both Idea and Vodafone India have now monetised the standalone tower assets for a total enterprise value of Rs. 78.5 billion, as per the timelines provided at the time of the announcement in November 2017, strengthening the financial position of the merged entity.