ATC completes Vodafone India’s tower acquisition deal

American Tower Corporation (ATC) has completed the deal to acquire telecom towers held by Vodafone India. This will consolidate the American company’s position as the country’s second-largest telecom tower company. The deal is expected to be announced soon.

“The deal has been concluded with an official announcement expected anytime soon, most probably this week itself,” a source close to the development told BusinessLine.

In November 2017, ATC had announced its intention to acquire the towers assets of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular. According to sources, the tower acquisition agreement with Idea will be announced separately later.

For ATC (formerly Viom), both the transactions combined are expected to generate about ₹2,100 crore in property revenue and about ₹800 crore in gross margin in the first full year of operations. Idea Cellular, which is expected to rake in ₹4,000 crore from the deal, will allow the company to use the proceeds to strengthen its balance sheet.

Vodafone India will get ₹3,850 crore from the deal.

Vodafone India offered no comments while Idea Cellular spokesperson was unavailable for comments.

The ongoing consolidation in the Indian telecom sector had resulted in ATC losing nearly 57,500 tenancies in India primarily due to the spate of exits by struggling mobile operators. The highest churn, for ATC, of 30,000 tenancies was from Tata Teleservices, which had sold its mobile business to Bharti Airtel in October last year, sources had told BusinessLine in March.

On March 20, 2017, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular announced plans to merge their mobile operations to create the largest operator in the country.