INDIA’s Telecom Services Poised For Substantial Improvement With CCI Approving Merger Of Tower Firms Bharati Infratel With Indus Towers Ltd

AS Government says there is no delay on its part to okay Idea-Vodafone merger, India’s major mobile tower firm Bharti Infratel has received approval from the fair trade regulator Competition Commission of India for its proposed merger with Indus Towers Ltd.It may be recalled  that  three months ago Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone Group announced an agreement for merger of Indus Towers and Bharti Infratel to create the largest mobile tower operator in the world outside China with over 163,000 towers across 22 telecom service areas. “…approval of Competition Commission of India has been received for the proposed merger of Bharti Infratel Ltd and Indus Towers Ltd,” the mobile tower firm said in a regulatory filing on Monday The combined company will own 100 per cent of Indus Towers. Indus Towers is currently jointly owned by Bharti Infratel (42 per cent holding), Vodafone (42 per cent), Idea Group (11.15 per cent) and Providence (4.85 per cent).Bharti Airtel and Vodafone will jointly control the combined company  and the transaction is expected to close before the end of 2018-19 Financial Year ending on March 31  subject to statutory approvals. The deal gives Idea Group an option to sell its 11.5 per cent stake in Indus Towers for cash or in lieu of receiving new shares. Providence too has the option to receive cash or shares for 3.35 per cent of its 4.85 per cent shareholding in Indus Towers with balance exchanged for shares.As per the deal structure, Vodafone will be issued 783.1 million new shares in merged entity in exchange for its 42 per cent stake in Indus Towers, and this could take its holding to 29.4 per cent in new company depending on options finally taken by Idea and Providence. Similarly, Ariel’s stake in new combined tower network may be diluted to 37.2 per cent in combined entity from 53.5 per cent it currently holds in Bharti Infratel. The transaction values Indus Towers at enterprise value of Rs 71,500 crore, industry sources said.Incidentally, New Delhi based Bharti Airtel Limited is an Indian global telecommunications services company operates in 20 countries across South Asia and Africa.  Vodafone and Idea are merging and have become largest telecom company in India. Airtel. Airtel India is the second largest mobile network operator and telecommunications service provider in India. Their coming together is expected to further improve mobile and digital services in India .


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