India’s Aircel shortlists four for $1.6bn towers unit

Indian phone company Aircel is seeking between $1bn-$1.6bn for between half and all of its 12,000 towers operated in the country and has shortlisted four parties. Those shortlisted are reportedly able to evaluate the books of the tower’s holding unit as early as next week.

Indian mobile phone company Aircel has shortlisted four firms to buy between half and all of the 12,000 reception towers it operates across the country.

According to a report by Reuters, Aircel has shortlisted American Tower, Bharti Infratel, Crown Castle and Tata-Quippo to purchase the towers which it valued at between $1billion and $1.6 billion.

Citing sources close to the sale, the report suggests the bidders could look at the tower unit’s books as early as next week.

Standard Chartered, Nomura and Rothschild are said to be advising Aircel, which is 74 percent owned by Malaysian communication firm Maxis Communications Berhad and 26 percent owned by Apollo Hospital Enterprise, the Chennai-based healthcare group.

Existing Indian companies which are owners of reception towers are seeking to divest from their assets as they fund the expansions of the business. Reuters said this was enabling newcomers to the market to acquire them more cheaply than having to build them from scratch.