GIC, Brookfield Infrastructure Partners and a number of co-investors have completed the acquisition of a telecom tower company in India from Reliance Industrial Investments for about $3.4bn (€2.8bn).

Brookfield will be investing $600m in the company, which owns approximately 135,000 recently-constructed communication towers forming the infrastructure backbone of Reliance Jio’s telecom business.

The breakdown of the investment from Brookfield’s partners, including GIC, has not been disclosed.

Jio is an anchor tenant of the business under a 30-year master services agreement.

There is an incremental business plan for tower build-out to drive growth that is expected to bring the portfolio to 175,000 towers in the near term.

Ang Eng Seng, GIC’s CIO for infrastructure, said the portfolio offered resilient income and long-term value, given India’s attractive data demand growth outlook. Both 4G and smartphone penetration were still very low, he said.

“While we remain cautious in this period of high uncertainty, we continue to seek good, long-term opportunities in India,” he said.

Sam Pollock, Brookfield Infrastructure’s CEO, said: “We are pleased to have closed this transaction, which was one of our top priorities for 2020.”

He said Brookfield Infrastructure was now “competitively positioned” to benefit from India’s growing data industry.

Anuj Ranjan, Brookfield’s managing partner and head of India and the Middle East, said Reliance had established itself as a leading telecom and technology company in India.

“The recent investments by leading global technology companies and private equity investors in Jio are further testimony to the platform Reliance has built, and its strength as our anchor tenant,” he said.

Source: Reuters

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