RCom-Brookfield's Rs 11k-cr tower deal to be taken up by Cabinet soon

Reliance Communications Chairman Anil Ambani
Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Communications' (RCom) Rs 11,000-crore deal to sell its tower business to Canada's Brookfield Infrastructure is nearing closure and is likely to be taken up by the Union Cabinet in the next couple of weeks.

RCom had announced signing of the binding agreement with Brookfield in December 2016 and sources said it has got almost all approvals for the said transaction, including that from the Competition Commission of India (CCI), Security and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), National Stock Exchange (NSE), BSE, corporate registration and shareholders. Only approvals left, a source further said, are that of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), which is likely to be heard on June 28, and lenders, for which the formal consent process will start in the last week of June.

As the government has scrapped the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) and all investment proposals above Rs 5,000 crore are to be approved by the Union Cabinet, this proposal is likely to be taken up by the Cabinet early in the next week, a source said.

The source further added, after the completion of the deal, Reliance Infratel will be renamed as TowerCom Infrastructure and soon after, Brookfield Infrastructure will buy 100 per cent equity share capital in the new entity with RCom holding 49 per cent economic upside. According to the deal, Brookfield will pay RCom upfront cash of Rs 11,000 crore for 51 per cent interest whereas RCom will retain 49 per cent stake in the business, which will be monetised later.

Brookfield Infrastructure has funds under management to the tune of $250 billion.

At Rs 11,000 crore, this will be the largest ever investment in the infrastructure space in India and it will also be the single-largest investment in the telecom infrastructure space. RCom had already announced that it will utilise the entire Rs 11,000 crore to reduce debt.

Apart from this, RCom also hopes to reduce the debt of Rs 14,000 crore through the wireless business in collaboration with Aircel.

With proceeds from these two deals, RCom is likely to fulfill its statement that Rs 25,000 crore will be paid to lenders before September 30, 2017.

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