GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund along with a group of investors, including Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP has fully acquired telecom tower assets from Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited. This 100 per cent stake sale of tower assets from Jio is worth $3.4 billion or around Rs 25,200 crore.
The deals would give Brookfield, GIC and other investors a portfolio of approximately 135,000 recently constructed telecom towers across India. This tower assets form the infrastructure backbone of Reliance Jio’s telecom business and its upcoming 5G network, as these towers are largely connected by fibre backhaul.
“The portfolio offers resilient income and long-term value give India’s attractive data demand growth outlook as 4G and smartphone penetration is still very low,” said Ang Eng Seng, GIC’s chief investment officer for infrastructure.
“The acquisition of this large-scale, high-quality telecom tower business significantly expands and diversifies our Data Infrastructure segment and competitively positions us in India’s growing data industry,” said Sam Pollock, CEO of Brookfield Infrastructure.
Reliance Jio is an anchor tenant of the new tower business under a 30-year Master Services Agreement, providing a secure, long-term source of revenue. It would also help the group to capitalize on the rollout of 5G across the country. It’s been planned to build more tower assets across India, thus bring the portfolio to 175,000 towers in the near term.
The telecom asset sale by Jio was signed in December last year and had been awaiting regulatory approval.