RCOM incorporates a new subsidiary, Tower­com Infrastructure (India)

Reliance Communications (RCOM) has incorporated a new subsidiary, Towercom Infrastructure Private Limited, with a subscribed and paid-up capital of Rs 100,000. The move is in line with the operator’s plan to divest 51 per cent stake in its tower unit, Reliance Infratel, to Canada-based Brookfield Infrastructure Group for Rs 110 billion. Following the signing of a non-binding agreement with the Brook­field Infrastructure Group, RCOM had announced that Reliance Infratel would trans­fer its assets and related infrastructure to a special purpose vehicle (SPV). Reliance Infratel will hold 49 per cent stake in the SPV, while the remaining 51 per cent will be held by  Brookfield.

RCOM sells its Ethernet business to GTT Americas for $28 million

RCOM has sold its Ethernet business to US-based telecommunications firm GTT Americas LLC for $28 million. RCOM’s subsidiary, Reliance Globalcom Services, shifted its ethernet business to Onyx NewCo LLC, a newly incorporated firm in the US, and later sold it to GTT. The sale consideration will come through in two instalments and will help pare the operator’s debt.

Providence to acquire 4.8 per cent stake in Indus Towers

US-based private equity (PE) firm Pro­vi­dence is reportedly planning to acquire a 4.8 per cent direct stake in Indus Towers. This will be done by swapping its holding in Aditya Birla Telecom Limited (ABTL) with that in Indus Towers. Providence currently holds convertible preference shares in ABTL, which gives it a beneficial stake of around 30 per cent in the latter. The proposed deal is expected to be a cashless stock swap for Providence.

GTL Infrastructure lenders and promoters to auction the company

The lenders and promoters of GTL Infra­structure are planning to auction the company and its assets by February 2017. The company has reportedly initiated the process to find a panel for the auction as per the Swiss Challenge method specified in the Reserve Bank of India’s guidelines for stressed assets. The auction, which is expected to be led by EY, will entail the conversion of approximately Rs 33 billion of debt into equity.

Bharti Airtel acquires Econet Wireless’s stake in its Nigerian subsidiary (Nigeria)

Bharti Airtel has completed the acquisition of Econet Wireless Limited’s entire 4.2 per cent stake in Airtel Nigeria. With this, Airtel’s overall holding in Airtel Nigeria has increased to 83.25 per cent. Although financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed, Econet had valued the stake at $3 billion.

Orange Egypt to get $553 million loan to acquire 4G licence (Egypt)

Orange Egypt will receive a loan of $553 million from its parent company, the France-based Orange Group. The amount will be used to acquire a 4G licence. The loan will mature in December 2020 and will have an interest rate of 7 per cent.


Malawi secures loan from China for national fibre backbone project (Malawi)

The Malawi government has signed a $23 million framework agreement with the Chinese government, under which the latter will lend funds for the construction of a national fibre internet backbone in Malawi. The national fibre backbone will be constructed by Chinese company Hua­wei and will connect 24 of the country’s total 28 districts, with drop points at Capital Hill in Lilongwe, the Blantyre government office complex and the district commissioner’s office. The loan will have a concessional interest rate of 2 per cent, with a repayment period of up to 15 years and a five-year grace period.

Liquid Telecom secures $300 million loan to fund expansion (South Africa)

Liquid Telecom has secured a syndicated loan of $300 million to fund its expansion in Africa. The proceeds will partly fund the Neotel purchase and other ongoing deals in Botswana and Tanzania. They will also help Econet pursue its strategy of expanding in the internet service and pay-TV domains in sub-Saharan Africa. The Standard Bank is arranging the loan.

SingTel hires banks for Netlink’s IPO (Singapore)

SingTel has appointed three banks for managing its broadband subsidiary Netlink’s $2.5 billion initial public offering (IPO). The DBS Group, Morgan Stanley and UBS AG will serve as managers for the IPO, which is expected to be launched in the second or third quarter of 2017.

Orange Côte d’Ivoire raises funds from local banks for expansion (Côte d’Ivoire)

Orange Côte d’Ivoire has raised $306 million from local banks to expand its oper­ations in West Africa. This includes a $123 million loan with a four-year maturity and another $180 million loan with a seven-year maturity period. Société Générale de banques de côte d’ivoire led the financing round along with two other banks – the Ivorian units of Standard Chartered and BNP Paribas.