American Tower set to sell off India unit for $2.5 billion


    Telecoms infrastructure company American Tower has reportedly agreed to sell its operations in India to an affiliate of Brookfield Asset Management for $2.5 billion, following a strategic review of the unit.

    The buyer is Data Infrastructure Trust (DIT), an entity which houses the investment company’s own tower assets in India.

    American Tower’s unit in India, ATC India, launched in 2007 and currently has around 75,000 sites. In its Q3 2023 financial results, the US-based player announced a $322 million goodwill impairment after receiving third party valuations on ATC India during its strategic review.

    At the time it indicated a sale of the business was an option on the table.

    In its statement on the agreement DIT highlighted it represented Brookfield’s third acquisition of assets related to the telecoms industry in India. Other buys were 5,000 “indoor business solution sites and small cell sites” purchased in 2022 and 175,000 towers acquired in 2020.

    Brookfield head of infrastructure for India and the Middle East Arpit Agrawal said: “Through strategic acquisitions like ATC India we remain deeply committed to empowering digital connectivity and transforming the telecom infrastructure landscape across the region.”

    The deal is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the second half of 2024.


    Meanwhile, in Ghana ATC remains the runaway towerco (tower company), reportedly commanding about 60% of the entire tower space and over 80% of co-location towers.

    The company recently had ti unplug two internet service providers, Surfline and Busy Ghana for nonpayment of recurrent bills and for owing huge legacy debts.

    ATC Ghana has reportedly dropped hints of wanting to leave the Ghana market as well due to nonpayment of debt by even two of the three telcos in the country, who are enjoying government protection.

    A greater majority of the towers owned and operated by ATC Ghana were acquired from MTN Ghana.

    The company is therefore reported to have favored MTN over the years, and therefore partially responsible for MTN’s current status as the significant market power (SMP).

    Its only real competitor in Ghana, Helios Towers controls just a small fraction of the market. It is still not clear which company will sell to, if they indeed decide to finally leave Ghana.

    But it is important to note that while they are leaving India, they have recent reached a deal with MTN Nigeria to manage their towers.


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