October 12, 2017 / 10:49 AM / 10 days ago

BRIEF-Bharti Airtel to buy Tata's consumer telecom business‍​

Oct 12 (Reuters) - Bharti Airtel Ltd:

* Tata and Bharti to combine consumer telecom business

* Co, Tata entered into deal to merge consumer mobile businesses of Tata Teleservices and Tata Teleservices Maharashtra Limited into Bharti Airtel‍​‍​

* Says merger on a debt-free cash-free basis‍​ ‍​

* Says as part of agreement, Bharti Airtel will absorb Tata CMB’s operations across the country in nineteen circles‍​

* Says deal will provide co with an indefeasible right to use (IRU) for part of existing fibre network of Tata‍​

* Bharti Airtel will assume a small portion of unpaid spectrum liability of tata

* Tata in initial talks to explore combination of enterprise business with Tata Communications, retail fixed line, broadband business with Tata Sky

* Says Tata to retain its stake in Viom and take care of associated liabilities‍​ Source text: [Bharti Airtel Limited (“Bharti Airtel”), India’s largest telecommunications services provider and Tata, India’s leading conglomerate, today announced that they have entered into an understanding (“Agreement”) to merge Consumer Mobile Businesses (CMB) of TTSL and TTML into Bharti Airtel. The acquisition is subject to requisite regulatory approvals.

As part of the Agreement, Bharti Airtel will absorb Tata CMB’s operations across the country in nineteen circles (17 under TTSL and 2 under TTML). These circles represent bulk of India’s population and customer base.

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. It will also enable Bharti Airtel to further bolster its strong spectrum foot-print with the addition of 178.5 MHz spectrum (of which 71.3 MHz is liberalised) in the 850, 1800 & 2100 MHz bands. Bharti Airtel will ensure quality services to Tata CMB’s customers, while offering them the added benefits of its innovative product portfolio, access to superior voice & data services, mobile banking, VAS and domestic/ international roaming facilities. Tata CMB’s operations and services will continue as normal until the completion of the transaction.

Tata and Bharti Airtel will work together to further explore other mutual areas of cooperation, that will be value accretive for both the Groups.

The transaction will also provide Bharti Airtel with an indefeasible right to use (IRU) for part of the existing fibre network of Tata.

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 Tata’s towards the DoT, which is to be paid on deferred basis.

The employees of Tata will be demerged on the lines of the two businesses i.e. CMB and EFL (Enterprise and Fixed Line and Broadband), and post an optimal manpower planning will be moved accordingly.

Tata is also in initial stages of exploring combination of its Enterprise Business with Tata Communications and its Retail Fixed Line and Broadband business with Tata Sky. Any such transaction will be subject to respective boards and other requisite approvals.

Tata will retain its stake in Viom, and will take care of the liabilities associated with it.]

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