BROOKFIELD Infrastructure Partners (Brookfield) and GIC of Singapore are leading a consortium which has completed the US$3.4 billion acquisition of an Indian telecom tower company from Reliance Industrial Investments (Reliance).
Brookfield will be investing US$600 million in the company, which owns approximately 135,000 recently-constructed communication towers, forming the infrastructure backbone of Reliance Jio’s telecom business. Jio remains one of the anchor tenants under a 30-year agreement.
Ang Eng Seng, GIC’s CIO for infrastructure, says the portfolio offered resilient income and long-term value, given India’s attractive data demand growth outlook. Both 4G and smartphone penetration were still very low, he says. “While we remain cautious in this period of high uncertainty, we continue to seek good, long-term opportunities in India,” he adds.
The growth plan calls for the portfolio to be grown to 175,000 towers in the near term.
“We are pleased to have closed this transaction, which was one of our top priorities for 2020”, comments Sam Pollock, Brookfield Infrastructure’s CEO. He added that Brookfield is now “competitively positioned” to benefit from India’s growing data industry.
Anuj Ranjan, Brookfield’s managing partner and head of India and the Middle East, said Reliance had established itself as a leading telecom and technology company in India.
“The recent investments by leading global technology companies and private equity investors in Jio are further testimony to the platform Reliance has built, and its strength as our anchor tenant,” he says.