RCOM to sell majority stake in Reliance Infratel to Brookfield Infrastructure (India)
Reliance Communications (RCOM) has signed a non-binding agreement with Canada’s Brookfield Infrastructure Group to sell a majority stake in its tower unit Reliance Infratel for Rs 110 billion. The entire amount is likely to be used to reduce RCOM’s net debt. As per the term sheet, Reliance Infratel will transfer its assets and related infrastructure to a special purpose vehicle, which will be majority held (51 per cent) by the Brookfield Infrastructure Group. RCOM will continue as an anchor tenant on Reliance Infratel’s tower assets under a long-term master services agreement.
Tejas to launch IPO
Domestic telecom equipment manufacturer Tejas Networks is planning to launch its initial public offering (IPO) in March 2017. The company is looking to raise Rs 8 billion through the listing. To this end, it plans to file the draft red herring prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Board of India by December 2016. The company has reportedly appointed Axis Capital, Edelweiss and Nomura as bankers for the IPO. It plans to use the funds raised to pare its debt, foray into new technology segments such as FTTx, 4G and 5G, and expand its operations internationally.
Vodafone India to sell its Navi Mumbai data centre facility
Vodafone India has reportedly invited bids for the sale of its data centre facility in Navi Mumbai. Two companies are currently reported to be in talks with the operator for the purchase of the data centre for Rs 12 billion, the cost at which it was built. The value of the asset is, however, likely to increase and may lead to a higher premium for buyers. The data centre was established as a part of Vodafone’s strategy to acquire enterprise customers, especially in the booming medium enterprise segment and start-ups.
MTN plans to buy stake in Iranian Net (Iran)
South Africa-based telecom group MTN is planning to acquire a 49 per cent stake in Iran’s national fibre optic backbone provider Iranian Net. Iranian Net is currently 80 per cent state owned, with the remaining stake being held by private sector investors. The company has been tasked with deploying fibre infrastructure in cities across the country under a four-year contract awarded in 2012.
BRTC approves Robi Axiata and Airtel Bangladesh merger (Bangladesh)
The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has approved the merger of Bangladesh-based mobile network operators Robi Axiata and Airtel Bangladesh. The agreement to merge the two companies was signed in January 2016, post which a court approval was received at the end of August 2016. The merger is expected to be completed by end-2016. Following the merger, Malaysia’s Axiata, the parent company for Robi Axiata, will hold a 68.3 per cent stake in the new company, India’s Bharti Airtel (the parent company of Airtel Bangladesh) will own 25 per cent, and NTT DOCOMO, an existing Robi Axiata stakeholder, will own the remaining 6.7 per cent.
Liberty Telecoms Holdings to go in for voluntary delisting (Philippines)
The Philippines-based Liberty Telecoms Holdings is likely to get delisted from the country’s stock exchange. This will be a voluntary stock market delisting undertaken by the company, which was taken over by the country’s two dominant operators, PLDT and Globe Telecom, in May 2016 in a $1.48 billion deal. The proposed date of delisting is November 21, 2016.
Ooredoo Maldives to launch IPO in 2017 (Maldives)
Ooredoo Maldives has received approval from the Maldives Stock Exchange to list a portion of its shares through an IPO. The company plans to publish its IPO prospectus in the second quarter of 2017, with the public offer expected to be launched later that quarter. The IPO will be open to the Maldivian public, and local and international investors.
Axiata Group contemplates stake sale in Smart Axiata (Cambodia)
Malaysia’s Axiata Group is contemplating the sale of up to 40 per cent stake in its Cambodian wireless unit, Smart Axiata. The company is currently looking for a partner for the stake sale. The proceeds from the stake sale are likely to be utilised for infrastructure expansion and future acquisitions, in or outside of Cambodia. The Axiata Group holds a 92.5 per cent stake in Smart Axiata.
Protelindo to undertake bond sale worth Rp 1.5 trillion (Indonesia)
Indonesian telecom tower company Profesional Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Protelindo) is planning to sell bonds worth Rp 1.5 trillion. The transaction is part of a multiple-year bond sale to raise Rp 6.5 trillion and will be issued in three tranches. In the first tranche, Protelindo will offer three series of bonds that mature in three, five and seven years. The bonds will be listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange. The company operates more than 9,000 towers across the country and has 17,605 leasable sites on these towers.