India’s leading GSM Mobile operator Aircel is involved in talks with Quippo Telecom Infrastructure to sell its 12,000 telecom tower infrastructure and has appointed Nomura & Rothschild as its financial advisors for the proposed deal, reports the Economic Times.
The Mobile Towers (BTS) are critical physical infrastructure that transmits voice and data RF signals to mobile service subscibers. All the leading private Mobile Service operators including Airtel, Vodafone Essar, Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices have demerged their towers and other physical infrastructure into separate companies. Airtel, Vodafone Essar and Idea Cellular have even gone to the extent of combining their physical assets in 16 circles to form Indus Towers, the world’s largest tower company. All telcos believe that hiving off towers would help share this infrastructure with other telecom companies bringing down costs.
The new paper said Nomura and Rothschild were the advisors for a possible deal with Tata-Quippo, but cited an unnamed industry official as saying that talks were at early stages and a deal may take up to six months.
According to the Economic Times,The source with knowledge of the developments said that in addition to Tata-Quippo, other players including a clutch of PE funds and Indus Towers may also enter the fray to buy-out Aircel’s towers. This executive also said that talks between Tata-Quippo and Aircel were at early stages and added that it could take up to 6 months for the deal to go through.