You are here: Home » Companies » News » Telecom
Business Standard

DoT clears Rs 40 bn Idea-ATC mobile tower deal, paves way for Voda merger

ATC Telecom Infrastructure had signed pact with Vodafone India and Idea in November 2017 to buy their standalone towers for Rs 78.5 billion

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Telecom Tower

The department on Thursday cleared sale of standalone mobile towers of Cellular for Rs 40 billion to the Indian arm of American Tower Corporation -- paving the way for the merger of and India.

"Idea-deal has been cleared," an official source told PTI.

Queries sent to and did not elicit any reply.

(American Tower Corporation) Infrastructure had signed a pact with India and Idea in November 2017 to buy their standalone towers for Rs 78.5 billion. The deal excluded holding of and Idea in Indus Towers.

The standalone tower businesses of Vodafone and Idea have a combined portfolio of nearly 20,000 towers, which included around 10,200 towers of Vodafone and the rest of Idea.

With the closure of deal with Idea, ATC Infrastructure will have around 68,000 mobile towers in its portfolio.

The clearance of this deal will also bring merger of Idea-Vodafone, which will create the country's biggest mobile operator with over 430 million subscriber, closer to the regulatory approval.

According to sources, DoT wanted to clear Idea, Vodafone and ATC tower sale deal before approving the merger of as change in the structure of the organisations would have created complexity in document work.

Idea has already accounted the proceed of Rs 40 billion that it will get from ATC for the debt that it will carry forward to the merged entity with Vodafone.

The has also option to sell its 11.15 per cent stake in Indus Towers for a cash consideration of around Rs 65 billion.

The lower level of debt and operational cost in the merged entity is expected to stabilise the position of both Idea and Vodafone in the Indian telecom market, which is reeling under heavy debt and facing intense tariff war.

First Published: Thu, May 24 2018. 23:06 IST