Idea Cellular reported a fourth straight quarterly loss on Monday as intense competition in the telecom sector continued to hurt, and said it would sell its tower business to reduce debt.
Idea shares fell 2.6 percent to 94.50 rupees as of 11:49 a.m in Mumbai, paring their gain this year to about 27 percent. By selling the respective tower businesses, Idea Cellular would get Rs 4,000 crore, while Vodafone would get around Rs 3,850 crore, Business Standard reported.
The company said its while broadband data usage almost doubled, the rate realisation "continued its free fall" during the three months ended September.
Jim Taiclet, American Tower's Chief Executive Officer stated, "We expect the addition of these two high quality portfolios to be highly complementary to our existing assets and to contribute to long-term leasing growth as India's leading mobile operators accelerate their 4G network deployments".
As announced in BSE filing on Monday, the companies will sell off the pan-Indian telecom tower business comprising 20,000 towers with a combined tenancy ratio of 1.65x as at 30 June 2017. Earlier this year, Vodafone India and Idea had agreed to merge their operations to create the country's largest telecom operator worth of more than $23 billion with a 35 per cent market share.
Vodafone India MD Sunil Sood had earlier said the merger of the two companies was on track for completion in 2018. The merger is aimed at dominating a market which billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd has disrupted with free voice calls and low data prices. The merger, expected to be completed in 2018, is awaiting various approvals.
India's telecom company Bharti Airtel posted 76.5 per cent fall in consolidated net profit to Rs 343 crore for the September quarter.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.