Providence invests 640 million dollars in Aditya Birla Telecom

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Mumbai, May 22 (UNI) Wireless communications company Aditya Birla Telecom Ltd (ABTL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Idea Cellular Ltd (Idea), today announced that Providence Equity Partners (Providence) has agreed to invest 640 million dollars in ABTL.

Speaking to mediapersons, Idea Managing Director Sanjeev Aga said, ''This commitment will bolster our position as a leading telecom player in India. We share a relationship of trust with Providence, which has facilitated putting through a large transaction in next to no time.'' This is one of the largest private equity investments in the country. The Providence investment will be used to fund the network rollout and ongoing operations of ABTL.

ABTL owns telecom UAS licence for the Bihar service area and will hold a 16 per cent stake in Indus Towers. The Bihar service area, covering the states of Bihar and Jharkand, has the second highest population among all service areas of India, but with the lowest mobile penetration.

The company has already received spectrum and is in an advanced stage of readiness to roll out mobile services under the Idea brand in the next few months.

Indus Towers is a joint venture company formed by Vodafone Essar, Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular to provide passive infrastructure services to various mobile operators in 16 telecom service areas.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close by August this year. DSP Merrill Lynch acted as the sole financial adviser to Idea on the transaction.


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