Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Quippo Telecom plans to raise Rs 2,800 cr to fund expansion

Pradeep Pandey MUMBAI

   QUIPPO Telecom Infrastructure (QTIL) is planning to raise around $600 million (Rs 2,800 crore) through a combination of equity and debt. The fund is expected to finance the company’s expansion, which may include acquisition of a slice of equity in Tata Telecom’s tower business. QTIL targets to invest $3 billion in the current fiscal to expand its telecom infrastructure business in India and plans to raise the number of towers to 25,000 by 2010 from the current 5,000.
   Sources close to the development said QTIL has roped in London-based investment bank Euromax Capital as one of the advisors for the proposed fund-raising.
   When contracted, QTIL managing director Arun Kapur said, “Being a capital intensive business, we do need funds and have already raised around $185 million recently. We are in the process of raising additional funds. However, it is too early to comment on this.” He declined to comment on the current status of the deal with Tata Teleservices for its tower business.
   Investment bankers said the potential investors may include leading IT and finance companies. They added that QTIL is also in talks with the Essar Group for a possible stake buyout in the latter’s tower business. However, this could not be confirmed with the Essar group.
   Recently, QTIL raised Rs 480 crore by selling 18.74% stake to Oman Investment Fund. In another round of fund raising, the company sold 12.19% each to Quippo Infrastructure, DB Zwirn, IDFC Private Equity and Indivest for a total investment of Rs 300 crore.
   QTIL is a division of Quippo Infrastructure Equipment (QIEL), an arm of SREI Infrastructure Finance, a leading nonbanking financial institution. Under the brand name Quippo, SREI operates infrastructure equipment rental company, servicing high-growth construction, mining, oil & gas, telecom and energy verticals. 

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