Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has signed a binding agreement to sell its telecom towers to Canada’s Brookfield Infrastructure Partners and its institutional partners for INR252.2 billion (USD3.6 billion), the group confirmed in a filing today. Tower firm Reliance Jio Infratel Private Limited (RJIPL) currently has a portfolio of around 130,000 towers, with plans to increase that figure to 175,000. Cellular operator Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio) is an anchor tenant on the towers, under a 30-year master services agreement. Closing of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, which RIL expects shortly.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Reliance restructured the ownership of its fibre and tower infrastructure assets earlier this year, transferring the assets to newly-established subsidiaries – Jio Digital Fibre Private Limited (JDFPL) and RJIPL respectively – with 51% stakes in each passed on to new Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) with RIL as the sponsor. Under the sale agreement, the Brookfield-led group will invest INR252.2 billion in the tower InvIT – Tower Infrastructure Trust – which will then use the proceeds to buy the remaining 49% stake, currently held by RIL via wholly-owned subsidiary Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Limited (RIIHL).