Bharti Airtel to acquire Tata's mobile business

ST Correspondent
Thursday, 12 October 2017

Pune: India's largest telecommunications services provider Bharti Airtel Limited and India's leading conglomerate Tata, on Thursday, announced that they have entered into an understanding (agreement) to merge Consumer Mobile Businesses (CMB) of Tata Teleservices Limited (TTSL) and Tata Teleservices Maharashtra Limited (TTML) into Bharti Airtel. The acquisition is subject to requisite regulatory approvals.

Pune: India's largest telecommunications services provider Bharti Airtel Limited and India's leading conglomerate Tata, on Thursday, announced that they have entered into an understanding (agreement) to merge Consumer Mobile Businesses (CMB) of Tata Teleservices Limited (TTSL) and Tata Teleservices Maharashtra Limited (TTML) into Bharti Airtel. The acquisition is subject to requisite regulatory approvals.

"The proposed merger will include the transfer of all customers and assets of Tata CMB to Bharti Airtel, further augmenting Bharti Airtel's overall customer base and network. Bharti Airtel will ensure quality services to Tata CMB customers, while offering them the added benefits of its innovative product portfolio, access to superior voice and data services, mobile banking, VAS and domestic/ international roaming facilities. Tata CMB operations and services will continue as normal until the completion of the transaction," read a joint statement issued on Thursday.

According to a statement, the merger is being done on a debt-free cash-free basis, except for Bharti Airtel assuming a small portion of the unpaid spectrum liability of Tatas towards the DoT, which is to be paid on a deferred basis. 

Chairman, Bharti Airtel, Sunil Bharti Mittal said, "On completion, the proposed acquisition will undergo seamless integration, both on the customer as well as the network side, and further strengthen our market position in several key circles. The customers of Tata will be able to enjoy India's widest and fastest voice and data network and a bouquet of Airtel's best-in-class products and services."

Chairman, Tata Sons, N Chandrasekaran said, "Finding the right home for our longstanding customers and our employees has been the priority for us. We have evaluated multiple options and are pleased to have this agreement with Bharti."

- As part of the agreement, Bharti Airtel will absorb Tata CMB operations across the country in 19 circles (17 under TTSL and 2 under TTML), which represent bulk of India's population and customer base. 
- Over 40 million customers will join Bharti Airtel and benefit from state of the art 4G Mobile network with fall back on its 3G and 2G ecosystem. 
-The transaction will also provide Bharti Airtel with an indefeasible right to use (IRU) for part of the existing fiber network of Tata. 
-The employees of Tata will be demerged on the lines of the two businesses, CMB and EFL (Enterprise and Fixed Line and Broadband) and post an optimal manpower planning will be moved accordingly.
- The merger enables Bharti Airtel to bolster its strong spectrum foot-print with the addition of 178.5 MHz spectrum (of which 71.3 MHz is liberalised) in 850, 1800 and 2100 MHz bands.
 

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