* Reliance Comms signed non-binding term sheet with
* Says to receive upfront cash of $1.65 bln on deal
* Says to use proceeds from deal to lower debt
(Adds details of deal, context)
MUMBAI, Oct 14 (Reuters) - India's Reliance Communications
is selling a 51 percent stake in its tower assets to
Canada's Brookfield Infrastructure Group for 110 billion rupees
($1.65 billion), in a deal that will help cut the phone
carrier's huge debt.
Reliance Communications will use the proceeds of the deal
with Brookfield "solely" to repay debt, it said a statement on
Friday. The preliminary deal is subject to definitive
documentation, regulatory approvals and other terms and
Controlled by billionaire Anil Ambani, Reliance
Communications is the most leveraged among listed Indian phone
carriers with its $6.3 billion net debt being more than five
times its operating profit. Ambani said last month the company
aimed to cut its debt by more than three-quarters within a year.
Reliance Communications, India's fourth-biggest cellular
carrier by customers, is also merging its wireless business with
smaller rival Aircel and has said that deal will cut its debt by
200 billion rupees as it transfers part of the debt to the new
India is the world's second-biggest and the fastest-growing
internet market by users.
As Indian mobile phone carriers expand their 4G telecoms
networks to cater to fast-rising demand for high-speed data,
Reliance Communications and Brookfield expect the tower
business' revenue and profitability to improve further,
according to the statement.
Reliance Communications, which has been trying to sell the
tower assets for years, had in December signed a non-binding
pact with a group led by buyout firm TPG Capital Management LP.
That deal did not go through.
Shares in Reliance Communications were trading 2.3 percent
higher by 0819 GMT in a Mumbai market that was up 0.3 percent.
($1 = 66.5919 Indian rupees)
(Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Muralikumar