Quadrangle enters Asia with $300m telecom deal

The New York-based firm has led seven other investors in backing Tower Vision, as they look to capitalise on India's rapidly growing wireless telecoms market.

Quadrangle Capital Partners has led a $300 million investment in telecom tower management company Tower Vision India, marking the first-ever Asian deal for the 10-year-old private equity firm.

Specific details as to the deal's debt and equity components were not dislcosed.

There were seven other institutional investors in the consortium including a few private equity firms, a Quadrangle spokeswoman told sister news site PEI Asia. She declined to name the other parties.

This investment is a great opportunity to obtain exposure to one of the fastest growing wireless markets in the world.

Edward Sippel

Tower Vision specialises in providing passive infrastructure to the wireless telecommunications industry and is India’s second largest independent tower management company with more than 5,000 sites.

“This investment is a great opportunity to obtain exposure to one of the fastest growing wireless markets in the world, and we believe the company is well positioned with its high quality and rapidly expanding tower portfolio,” Edward Sippel, a Hong Kong-based managing director at Quadrangle, said in a statement.

Quadrangle acquired a “significant minority” stake in the company, the spokeswoman said, declining to detail the size of the stake acquired or the amount of the firm’s investment. The investment gets Quadrangle a seat on Tower Vision’s board.

The deal marks Quadrangle’s first private equity investment in Asia. In September 2009, the firm indicated to LPs that it saw attractive opportunities in Asia and planned to focus on the region, according to a Reuters report at the time. Quadrangle has since closed its London office and now has offices in New York and Hong Kong.

Quadrangle’s Hong Kong office was set up by Sippel in September 2008 and has a team of four. The firm typically invests between $100 million and $250 million in businesses in the media and communications sector globally and manages assets of more than $3 billion. In all, the Quadrangle Group manages assets of more than $6 billion across distressed debt, public equities and private equity.

India’s telecom infrastructure sector has been a hotspot for private investment and almost all major telecom infrastructure players in the country have at some point received significant investments from private equity players.

Most recently, in August 2009, IDFC Private Equity and Oman Investment fund, existing shareholders in Quppo Telecom Infrastructure, invested again in the company at the time of its merger with Wireless-TT Info-Services, the tower arm of Tata Teleservices.