India has given its approval for American Tower Corp.’s proposal to invest $2 billion in the country, announced telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, on Wednesday. It includes a proposal to buy a 51% stake in Indian mobile tower operator Viom Networks.
According to Reuters, American Tower CEO James D. Taiclet Jr. committed to investing more in India during their meeting with Prasad on Tuesday.
The investment in Viom Networks will be done through ATC Asia Pacific, a wholly owned subsidiary of ATC based in Singapore. The company will spend $879 million to acquire the share in Viom. Details of the remaining investment have not been revealed.
Viom owns about 42,200 towers in India. Another 1000 towers are under construction across the country.
According to the deal, ATC may also acquire the remaining 49 percent stake in Viom. The existing 14,000 telecom mobile masts of ATC will be merged with Viom.
With 54 percent stake, Tata Teleservices Ltd owns the major portion of Viom’s share. Kolkata-based SREI Group of Kanoria family holds 18.5 per cent shares and they also have management control in the company.
“Tata Teleservices stake will come down to about 34 percent from current 54 per cent now and further it would reduce to 26 per cent after ATC merges its Indian business with Viom,” Sunil Kanoria, vice-chairman of SREI Infrastructure Finance, was quoted as saying by Business Standard.
With the investment, ATC will expand its base in world’s second-biggest telecom market. ATC has a presence in 13 countries located on 5 continents.
American Tower Corp. to invest $2 billion in India