Macquarie SBI Fund buys stake in Viom Telecom

A Macquarie SBI Infrastructure Fund-led consortium has bought an 11% stake in Viom Telecom, an Indian mobile tower operator. The stake, worth INR14bn, is the largest investment made by the fund to date.

Macquarie SBI Infrastructure Fund (MSIF), along with an unknown International partner, has made an investment into an Indian mobile tower operator for INR14 billion (€231 million; $304 million), a source close to the company told Infrastructure Investor, confirming earlier media reports.

MSIF is a joint venture between Macquarie Capital, State Bank of India (SBI) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). This is the largest investment made by the fund so far.

The source said the infrastructure fund has bought an 11 percent stake in Viom Networks, previously known as Quippo-WTTIL. Media reports suggest that the money will be used by Viom Networks to repay loans.

The deal comes a few weeks after MSIF acquired a 12 percent stake in Adhunik Power and Natural Resources, an Indian power developer, for $27 million.

Viom is an independent telecom infrastructure company with over 37,000 towers and 80,000 tenants, according to media reports. In 2009, Quippo Telecom Infrastructure (QTIL) tied up with Tata Teleservices (TTSL) and the merger of their businesses resulted in the formation of Quippo-WTTIL, now known as Viom Networks.

Following the acquisition by MSIF, Tata Teleservices will hold a 54 percent stake in the company, Srei Infrastructure Finance will own about 13 percent, GIC-Singapore and IDFC Private Equity will own about 8 percent and Oman Investment Fund 7 percent. The remaining 7 percent will be held by four or five other companies, according to reports.