Dual technology telecom service provider Tata Teleservices is in discussions to sell its entire stake in Viom Networks, a telecom tower company, to American Tower Corporation (ATC) for about Rs 4,000 crore, according to a PTI report. The latest development follows a divestment of majority of Tata Teleservices’ stake in Viom Networks previously. TTSL’s stake in Viom Networks came down to 26 per cent after American Tower Corporation bought majority stake in the Indian tower firm and merged its existing Indian business.
Macquarie SBI Infrastructure Fund, Oman Investment Fund, Singapore state investor GIC, and India’s IDFC Private Equity are other investors in the company.
Viom was formed in 2009 as a result of merger of mobile towers of Tata Teleservices and Quippo Telecom, which was a unit under SREI Group.
ATC in October 2015 announced to buy 51 per cent stake in Viom, which owns and operates about 42,200 towers and has another 1,000 mobile phone masts under construction, from Tata Teleservices and SREI Infrastructure Finance. It subsequently bought 51 per cent stake in Viom, which owns and operates over 42,000 towers, for Rs 7,635 crore. ATC had got the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs in April last year.
Tata Teleservices at that time owned 54% of Viom, with Kolkata-based SREI Group of Kanoria family holding about 18 per cent with management control.
ATC earlier a few months back said that it was willing to talk to telcos seeking to sell their towers. The company has 57,000 towers and trails Indus Towers and Bharti Infratel with nearly 121,000 and 89,000 respectively in the Indian telecom tower space.
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