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BSNL plans PE for tower unit auction

BSNL plans PE for tower unit auction

Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) is planning to rope in private equity investors, includ­ing telecom companies, to pick up stake in a new company that will be floated by hiving off the state-run telecom major's towers. This is the first time that BSNL is seeking private investment. It has over 40,000 towers across the country, valued at around Rs 16,000-Rs 20,000 crore. In the last few months, most tower company acquisitions have been undertaken at an average value of Rs 50 lakh per tower. Since BSNL towers are exclusively used by the com­pany, they may fetch a lower value. The company is in talks with other telecom players to rent out this capacity.

Spinning out the tower bus­iness into a separate entity and then getting in investors has been a common strategy for most Indian telecom players.

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