Reliance Communications’ plans to sell its tower arm has entered the final leg, chairman Anil Ambani said on Tuesday as he announced group company Reliance Capital’s planned foray into the commercial banking space.
“Banking is a new growth opportunity,” Ambani told shareholders at Reliance Capital’s annual general meeting in Mumbai “We will evaluate opportunities to enter this high growth sector and are keeping track of all regulatory developments on this front,” he said.
Analysts and shareholders were expecting Ambani to drop hints about the possible closure of a deal to divest Reliance Communications’ 95% stake in group firm Reliance Infratel.
“When we hopefully conclude the Reliance Infratel transaction, it will be the largest private equity transaction in the history of this country,” said Ambani.
The deal will likely help shave off a significant portion of the more than $7-billion (about Rs35,000 crore) debt on its books.Ever since the Rs60,000-crore-deal with GTL to build the world’s largest telecom tower company fell through in June 2010, the company has been in talks with a host of players including UAE-based Etisalat, American Tower, Crown Castle International and India’s Viom Networks.
In June this year the company had said that the talks with buyers were in advanced stage as the “board had approved taking the process to the next stage of due diligence”.
The banking entity of the group could be named Reliance Bank, said Ambani.