Bharti Airtel to merge with Tata telecom business

Bharti Airtel will be absorbing Tata Tele’s Consumer Mobile Business’s operations across the country in 19 circles

The agreement will further strengthen Airtel's solid portfolio and create substantial long term value for our shareholders given the significant synergies.

Tata Teleservices Limited and Tata Teleservices Maharashtra Limited (Tata) is set to enter a formal merger with Bharti Airtel for the mobile businesses.

The deal, subject to regulatory approvals, will see over 4 crore customers of Tata Teleservices (TTSL) and Tata Teleservices Maharashtra (TTML) joining Bharti Airtel and mark further consolidation in one of the world's largest telecom markets. It will also assume a small portion of the unpaid spectrum liability of Tata towards the Telecom Department, which is to be paid on deferred basis, the statement added.

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.

This acquisition also means Bharti Airtel would now get to possess close to 180 MHz of spectrum owned by Tata tele in 3 telecom bands- 850, 1800 and 2100 Mhz.

Just as Tata Group was planning to shut down its telecom arm, it has come as a huge relief for the Group as India's largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel has agreed to acquire the mobile business of Tata Teleservices.

The Bharti Board, which met on Thursday afternoon, has approved this transaction.

With this deal, Airtel will have over 32 crore customers, way below 40 crore users with the merged Vodafone-Idea entity. Tata will also retain its stake in Viom and will take care of the liabilities associated with it.

In case of individual companies, it believes that Bharti Airtel, Vodafone-Idea Cellular and Reliance Jio could, combined, account for over 90 percent of industry's revenues. Tata's consumer mobile business operations and services will continue as normal until the completion of the transaction.

Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran had recently conceded that the groups mobile business Tata Teleservices is in a "really bad shape" and that a "tough call" will have to be taken on the business in this financial year. Finding the right home for our longstanding customers and our employees has been the priority for us. "Securities Private Limited is the financial advisor to Tata". It of course might have to fork out USA $ 1.2 billion to the government if it wants to liberalise the 1800 Mhz spectrum which its gets from TTSL but the choice of that will be with Bharti.

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