GTL Infra Acquires Aircel Tower Business

by CXOtoday Staff    Jan 15, 2010

GTL Infrastructure announced the acquisition of Aircel s 17,500 telecom towers for Rs 8,400 crore today.

Announcing the deal, GTL Infrastructure Chairman Manoj Tirodkar said, "This is the largest all-cash asset purchase transaction in Indian corporate history. We expect to fund this transaction through fresh equity of Rs 3,400 crore; this could go up to Rs 4,000 crore if required. The balance 5,000 crore will come through debt funded by a consortium of banks syndicated by SBI Caps."

He said the company may have to invest an additional Rs 700-800 crore in the acquisition. "Aircel has built these towers according to their requirements and the equipment needed is sufficient for two tenants as of now. Depending on the demand from customers we might have to invest Rs 700-800 crore. But this is not an immediate requirement," said Tirodkar.

With the Aircel acquisition, GTL’s tower count will touch 32,500 by May 2010, by when the deal is expected to be completed.

In addition to the existing towers, Aircel has also committed for 20,000 more towers over the next three years. On completion of this roll out, GTL Infra is expected to have a portfolio of more than 50,000 towers across India. The number of GTL towers in urban areas will increase from the current 1,350 to 9,400 towers.

Aircel, the Maxis Communications promoted company, said it plans to use the cash to better its services. The company plans to invest $5 billion (Rs 22,800 crore) in India over the next three years to increase its subscriber base from 31 million to 100 million by 2012, increase its base station from 40,000 to 80,000 and expand its value-added services.