Mumbai: 1.30 lakh towers of Tower Infrastructure trust are expected to change ownership in a few days. On Monday, Mukesh Ambani headed Reliance Industries said that it was divesting Jio's telecom tower assets to Canada's Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP for an amount of Rs 25,215 crores.
In a statement, RIL shared with the stock exchanges, it reported of having inked binding agreements with Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP and its partners for the tower business deal. Under the deal, RIIHL(Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Limited), the sponsor of Tower Infrastructure Trust, would issue units in the trust to Brookfield affiliate BIF IV Jarvis India and some co-investors.
After the deal is closed, the Canadian alternative assets manager, Brookfield and its partners would become sponsors of the trust, holding 100 per cent of India's largest telecom tower company with 130,000 towers through Tower Infrastructure Trust, while the RIL subsidiary would become a co-sponsor, but will hold no units.
The notification also read, "At the Closing of the Transaction, the Trust will own 100% of the issued and paid up equity share capital of Reliance Jio lnfratel Private Limited (RJIPL). RJIPL has a current portfolio of approximately 130,000 communication towers that forms the infrastructure backbone of Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited's (Jio) telecommunication network, with plans to build additional towers and the total number of towers is expected to reach approximately 1,75,000 towers. Jio is an anchor tenant of the tower portfolio under a 30-year Master Services Agreement."
Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of RIL was quoted as saying, "We are pleased to enter into this long and strategic relationship with Brookfield, which is one of the largest and most respected managers of infrastructure assets globally. We are confident of Brookfield's abilities to manage this large portfolio of high-quality infrastructure assets and further enhancing value creation opportunities. This transaction demonstrates the belief of global investors in the potential of India's digital opportunity."
The notification concluded by stating that closing of the transaction was subject to regulatory approvals, "which are expected shortly."
Stocks of RIL traded down by 1 percent in the session on Monday to quote a price of Rs 1566.55 per share.
Markets got the whiff of the transaction as early as July. At that time, Jio Infratel's portfolio of 1.70 lakh towers was the highest in the country. Jio had acquired 45,000 towers from RCom and built the others. Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers together had a tower-strength of 1.63 lakh towers.
This is the second investment made by the Canadian Brookfield this year in a venture controlled by Mukesh Ambani. Previously, Reliance Gas Transportation Infrastructure, a loss-making entity also known as East-West pipeline was acquired at a valuation of Rs 13,000 crores.