American Tower Corporation closes Viom buy

American Tower Corporation (ATC) has closed its earlier announced acquisition of a 51 per cent controlling stake in Viom Networks, which owns and operates more than 42,000 communications sites in India.

With this acquisition, ATC will own 57,000 towers in India.

''The acquisition of Viom makes us the leading independent telecom infrastructure provider and will allow us better serve our customers as they expand their 3G and 4G network reach and capacity. It will also enable us to play a key role in providing critical communications real estate and vital passive telecom infrastructure essential to the Indian government's 'Digital India' initiative,'' said Amit Sharma, executive vice president and president (Asia) at ATC.

The overall transaction amounting to over Rs7,600 crore, resulted in a total foreign direct investment inflow of Rs5,856 crore into the telecom infrastructure.

ATC used borrowings under its existing revolving credit facilities ans utilised cash on hand to meet the cash portion of the purchase price, it said in a statement.

Under the transaction, ATC Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd., Singapore acquired 51 per cent equity shareholding in Viom, which also got Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approval.

Originally set up as Quippo Telecom Infrastructure Private Limited (QTIPL), with towers in 2005, the company grew to around 5,000 towers through organic growth and acquisition of Spice telecom towers between 2006 and 2008.

In 2009, by way of merging its tower business with that of wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Teleservices, Viom was created with around 18,000 towers.