American Tower Corp (ATC) Chairman & Chief Executive James D Taiclet said, “We may seek to acquire additional assets in the future in India”.
The Boston-based independent tower company would eye more big-ticket tower asset buys to augment operations in India — its biggest international market.
Taiclet said, “ATC’s immediate focus would be integrating the 20,000-odd combined captive towers it acquired last month from Vodafone India and Idea Cellular for $1.2 billion, but added that US tower operator would scout for additional tower assets that meet its return on investment requirements in India.”
As per the industry experts, another reason behind growing global investor enthusiasm about India’s towers sector is they now have the option to convert such asset revenues into a real estate investment trust (REIT) structure in India too as in other established tower markets such as the US.
“REITs have had a positive impact on the US real estate and infrastructure market, but while we are encouraged by the expansion of REITs globally, inclusive of the InvIT (Infrastructure Investment Trust) structure in India, we have no immediate plans to convert our Indian operations into a REIT. We expect to continue to evaluate REIT structures in each country we currently do business in for possible conversions in the future, but our Indian business is attractive to us even without taking into account a possible local REIT designation,” added Taiclet.
While on the other hand, he denied commenting on market speculation, saying that, “We continue to work with all of our tenants in India and around the world to ensure that our mutual contractual obligations are fully and consistently met.”