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GTL Infra to rise up to Rs 1,000 cr equity

The company, which is demerged out of GTL, is listed last month and is trading at around Rs 40, reports Suman Layak/b.

india Updated: Dec 21, 2006 18:57 IST

GTL Infrastructure Ltd, the infrastructure arm of GTL, is planning to rise up to Rs 1,000 crore through equity soon. The company is considering either a rights issue or a private equity deal. GTL Infra is in the business of building and offering telecom towers for sharing by telecom operators.

Chief operating officer of GTL Infrastructure, Prakash Ranjalkar told Hindustan Times "We now have Rs 320 crore of equity and are looking at doubling it. We may also go up to Rs 1,000 crore. This will allow us to leverage it and raise debt of Rs 2000 crore."

The company, which was demerged out of GTL, was listed last month and is trading at around Rs 40. Ranjalkar said "It will be possible to make a rights issue or a private equity placement at a premium now. We are looking at raising this money in the next three to five months, but it can happen sooner."

The company is keen to grow organically in the tower business and is looking at acquiring stakes in other companies. Telecom companies that own most of the telecom towers today are keen to hive off their assets in special purpose vehicles.

GTL Infra, apart from setting up its own towers, is also keen on offering its expertise to these special purpose vehicles that are floated and take a small stake in these companies.

So the company is keen too raise capital and at the same time invest in companies in the same space.

Ranjalkar said: "We are in talks with the telecom companies. We are also in talks with foreign players in this field as well as private equity investors who have invested in similar companies."

Ranjalkar pointed out that a lot of telecom companies are keen to retain some control on the SPVs that they will create to manage their tower businesses. "GTL Infra fits in well in this scheme of things as we can take a small stake in these companies and offer our expertise," he added.

GTL Infra is currently negotiating comprehensive contracts for sharing of telecom infrastructure with two telecom majors. These agreements are likely to be signed in the next 10 days.

The company is about to unveil 58 new towers in Delhi and 40 new sites in Goa soon. "We have already arranged for financing the roll out of new towers. Whatever equity we raise now will be used for strategic investing in other companies," Ranjalkar said.

First Published: Dec 21, 2006 18:57 IST