GIC, Brookfield $3.4 billion cell tower buy is India’s biggest PE deal


GIC, the Singapore wealth fund with more than $100 billion in sovereign assets under management invested across 40 countries, announced on Tuesday that it has teamed up with Canadian global alternative assets giant Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP and other co-investors to acquire 100% ownership of the Indian telecom tower assets currently held by Reliance Jio, a subsidiary of Indian multinational conglomerate Reliance Industries.

Total equity commitment for the transaction is $3.4 billion, making it the largest-ever private equity deal in India, and making Brookfield the country’s largest private investor—a distinction previously held by Blackstone Group.

The portfolio includes around 130,000 recently constructed cell towers, all strategically located to provide cellular network coverage across India. Another 45,000 towers are planned for construction and are included in the deal portfolio. Jio will remain anchor tenant of the tower portfolio under a 30-year Master Services Agreement.

In making the acquisition public today, GIC Chief Investment Officer of Infrastructure Ang Eng Seng said, “GIC is pleased to invest alongside Brookfield Infrastructure and the other co-investors in this large, high-quality portfolio of telecom tower assets. The portfolio offers resilient income and long-term value given India’s attractive data demand growth outlook as 4G and smartphone penetration is still very low. While we remain cautious in this period of high uncertainty, we continue to seek good, long-term opportunities in India.”



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