Indian telecoms tower firm Viom Networks is open to acquisition opportunities including the tower arm of India's No 2 mobile carrier Reliance Communications, a director of the tower firm said on Thursday, but added there have been no talks yet with Reliance.
"We'll be interested in any good asset which adds value," Sunil Kanoria told Reuters by telephone, when asked if Viom was interested in buying Reliance Comm's tower arm.
"We are open to evaluate any asset that comes our way...But at the moment, we are not looking at anything," he said.
Debt-laden Reliance Comm last week said it had received several offers for its 95-percent stake in its tower arm, without naming the bidders. It said its board had approved taking the process to the next stage of due diligence and that it aimed to close a deal at the earliest.
Viom, a joint venture between telecoms carrier Tata Teleservices and tower firm Quippo, has 38,500 mobile towers. In comparison, Reliance Comm's tower arm Reliance Infratel owns 50,000 towers.
Reliance Comm, which has more than $7 billion in debt, has said a deal for the tower unit would help it achieve a "substantial reduction" in debt.
An agreement to spin off Reliance Infratel into a venture with GTL Infrastructure fell apart last year, dealing a blow to Reliance Comm. Many in the banking community have said they have not heard of the new offers.
U.S. private equity firms TPG Capital and Carlyle Group are in talks to buy a stake in Reliance Infratel, Bloomberg had reported on Wednesday. Reliance Comm has also received interests from Blackstone Group and London-based Apax Partners, the news agency said.
(Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; editing by Malini Menon)
Reliance Comm stock price
On November 27, 2015, Reliance Communications closed at Rs 74.10, down Rs 0.35, or 0.47 percent. The 52-week high of the share was Rs 113.10 and the 52-week low was Rs 45.65.
The latest book value of the company is Rs 144.12 per share. At current value, the price-to-book value of the company was 0.51.
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