SREI Group-promoted Quipo Telecom Infrastructure is set to strike a partnership with the tower arm of Tata Teleservices. The deal would involve Quipo transferring all its telecom assets to Wireless Tata Telecom Infrastructure and pump more cash into the venture, reports Economic Times. The combined entity can look at competing with the likes of Indus Towers, Bharti Infratel and RTIL. Quipo is one of the largest independent tower players in India. Some of the other independent players are Gurgaon-based Independent Mobile Infrastructure, GTL and Xcel Telecom.
Quipo will have a 49% stake in the merged entity. Tata Teleservices had announced last year its plans to divest a 49% stake in the tower arm which had attracted a number of bids. A number of private equity giants such as Goldman Sachs, Carlyle, Blackstone, KKR, Providence etc had reportedly evinced an interest in buying the stake. Among those shortlisted are, American Tower, Essar, Quipo, Excel Towers and Carlyle – were finally shortlisted.
Quipo has itself attracted a lot of private equity investments. Some of its investors include IDFC Private Equity, DB Zwirn, Singapore’s GIC and Qatar’s Oman Investment Fund. After its latest round of funding in August this year, total direct and indirect foreign holding in Quipo stood at 82.55%. Last year, Quipo bought out Spice Communications tower business for Rs 500 crore, in which it got 875 telecom towers.