U.S. firms may take stake in Reliance Comm unit

By agencies   |   Monday, 20 November 2006, 06:00 Hrs
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Mumbai: U.S. private equity groups Blackstone and Carlyle are in talks with Reliance Communications to invest as much as $1 billion in a new unit created to house the Indian mobile firm's telecoms tower business, the Financial Times said on Monday.

Singapore state investment agency Temasek (TEM.UL: Quote, Profile, Research) and American Tower (AMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research), a telecommunications tower management company, are also thought to be in talks to take a 5-10 percent stake in the new group, called TowerCo, the paper said.

Reliance is spinning off its wireless tower business to separate the heavy cost of building telecoms infrastructure from the parent company, the FT reported.

"If we have to put up another 10,000 towers, it could cost $1 billion and that would have to be financed under the parent company," the paper quoted a senior executive as saying.

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