Idea Cellular to sell standalone tower biz held by ICISL

Yolanda Curtis
November 13, 2017

Shares of Idea were trading 2.78 per cent down to Rs 94.35 a piece on BSE.

Net loss after tax was 11.07 billion rupees ($169.45 million) in the quarter ended September 30, compared with a profit of 915 million rupees a year earlier, Idea Cellular said on Monday.

Idea said that the broadband data usage (3G+4G) has almost doubled to 413 billion MB in the second quarter from 228.8 billion MB in the first quarter.

The Board has approved the execution of a share purchase agreement amongst ATC Telecom Infrastructure, the Company and ICISL.

"The standalone tower business of Idea and Vodafone India are pan India passive telecommunication infrastructure business, comprising combined portfolio of approximately 20,000 towers with combined tenancy ratio of 1.65x as of 30th June 2017", it said in filing with stock exchanges.

The Tower purchase would give Boston-based ATC, which operates nearly 150,000 communications sites globally, an additional 20,000 towers in a country with more than 1 billion mobile-phone subscribers. It was decided that post-merger Vodafone India will own 45.1% of the merged entity, after it transfers about 4.9% to promoters of Idea and/or their affiliates for ₹38.74 billion.

Besides, the depreciation and amortisation charge increased to Rs 2,114.3 crore and interest and financing cost rose to Rs 1,182.9 crore as the company continued to aggressively invest in expanding its 4G footprint, the statement added. The merger is aimed at dominating a market which billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd has disrupted with free voice calls and low data prices. The merger is expected to be completed in 2018.

ICISL reported a revenue of Rs 758.50 crore for FY17 and had a net worth of Rs 662.30 crore on a standalone basis.

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