Reliance Jio to spin off company's fibre and tower assets to separate entities

Jio has 2.20 lakh towers and nearly three lakh kilometres of optical fibre assets.

Telecom operator Reliance Jio Infocomm on 11 December said its board has approved schemes to spin off the company's fibre and tower assets to separate entities. "The board of directors of the company, at its meeting held yesterday, accorded its approval to a scheme of arrangement for transfer of its fibre undertaking, on a going concern basis, to a separate company," Jio said in a regulatory filing on 'restructuring/reorganisation proposals'.

The board also cleared a similar proposal pertaining to transfer of its tower infrastructure "on a going concern basis, to a separate company", it added.

The schemes are subject to statutory and regulatory approvals, it added but did not provide details.

A woman checks her mobile phone as she walks past a mobile store of Reliance Industries' Jio telecoms unit, in Mumbai, India, July 11, 2017. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade - RC1E582C9B50

Representational image. Reuters

Jio has 2.20 lakh towers and nearly three lakh kilometres of optical fibre assets  all of which are leveraged for captive use so far. The latest move would give the company the leeway to lease out the infrastructure in the fast-growing telecom market, sources said.

Reliance Industries' telecom arm  seen as the most aggressive telecom player in the market  had reported a standalone net profit of Rs 681 crore for the September 2018 quarter, against a net loss of Rs 271 crore in the year-ago period.

On a quarterly basis, its profit grew around 11 percent from Rs 612 crore in the April-June period.

Having amassed 252 million mobile subscribers, the company is now looking to foray into optical fibre-based broadband services in the country and accordingly announced Rs 5,230 crore majority stake acquisition plan in two fixed-line broadband firms  Den Networks and Hathway Cable. The purchase is expected galvanise Reliance Jio's broadband services, Jio GigaFiber.

The company announced it will acquire 66 percent stake in Den Networks for Rs 2,290 crore and 51.3 percent in Hathway Cable for Rs 2,940 crore.

Disclaimer: Reliance Industries Ltd. is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd.

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