Published on: 7th Sep 2015
USA based American Tower is reportedly close to a deal that would see it taking a majority stake in the Indian tower owner, Viom Networks.
The sellers are the Srei group, and a number of private equity investors. Although Srei owns just 18.5% of the company, it has management control.
The remaining shareholder is the Tata Group, which currently owns 54%, who are expected to be left with a 26% stake and a deal for preferential rates on tower leases.
Plans for an IPO on the stock market were cancelled in 2011, reportedly by Tata, which has had a difficult relationship with Srei and has been looking at an exit for several years.
American Tower has already made two previous purchases in the country, which gives it about 10,000 towers, and could look to consolidate the assets of all three tower networks to reduce its operating costs.
Viom Networks operates around 42,000 towers and more than 95,000 tenancies. It was formed in January 2009 from the merger of the tower networks owned by Wireless Tata Telecom Infrastructure (WTTI) and Srei group’s Quippo Telecom Infrastructure (QTIL).