Airtel to acquire Tata's consumer mobile business for free

Remigio Civitarese
Ottobre 12, 2017

India's top telecommunications carrier Bharti Airtel will acquire the consumer mobile business of Tata Teleservices and Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) Ltd, the companies said on Thursday.

An official statement reads, "The Boards of Tata Sons, TTSL and TTML separately approved this transaction".

This step has been taken on a debt-free cash-free basis.

"The proposed merger will include transfer of all the customers and assets of Tata CMB to Bharti Airtel, further augmenting Bharti Airtel's overall customer base and network", the statement said.

Well, that was the first merger in Indian telecom sector, and now today, we are hearing about the second merger in the country, it's between Tata Teleservices and Bharti Airtel (often referred as Airtel).

As part of the agreement, Bharti Airtel will absorb Tata CMB's operations in 19 telecom circles (17 under TTSL and 2 under TTML).

Although the two companies have entered into an understanding, the acquisition of the mobile businesses by Airtel is pending regulatory approvals. Having said that, Tata will retain its stake in Viom while taking care of all the liabilities associated with it. "It will further strengthen our already solid portfolio and create substantial long term value for our shareholders given the significant synergies", Mittal added.

This comes after Tata Sons Chairman, N Chandrasekaran, said Tata Teleservices was in a "really bad shape" with Rs. 31,000-crore debt. Tata employees will be demerged on the lines of the two businesses CMB and EFL (Enterprise and Fixed Line and Broadband), and will be moved after an optimal manpower planning.

Tata Communications pointed that in the normal course of operations, it looks at potential opportunities in various markets in the best interest of the company.

The merger will bolster Bharti Airtel's spectrum pool with significant additional 178.5 MHz spectrum in 1800, 2100 and 850 MHz bands, all widely used for 4G. Ltd acted as financial advisor to Tata.

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