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Tatas to merge telecom business with Bharti Airtel

12 October 2017

Adding further to this, he said "This is a significant development towards further consolidation in the Indian mobile industry and reinforces our commitment to lead India's digital revolution by offering world-class and affordable telecom services through a robust technology and solid spectrum portfolio".

Bharti Airtel has made a decision to acquire the wireless business of Tata Teleservices, an ET report stated.

In March this year, Airtel's rivals - Vodafone India and Idea Cellular had announced merger plans to create India's largest telecom firm.

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.

As a part of this transaction, Airtel will take over Tata's operations in 19 circles across the country, two of which are under TTML and the rest are under TTSL. The merger will be debt-free and cash-free, which implies that Airtel won't be adding any significant liabilities in the deal.

"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.

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Through the deal Bharti has the potential to tap almost 40 million Tata Tele customers. The acquisition is subject to requisite regulatory approvals. Having said that, Tata will retain its stake in Viom while taking care of all the liabilities associated with it.

"We believe today's agreement is the best and most optimal solution for the Tata Group and its stakeholders", said N. Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons. Finding the right home for our longstanding customers and our employees has been the priority for us.

Bharti Airtel Ltd said on Thursday it will acquire the local unit of Norwegian.

Goldman Sachs (India) Securities Pvt Ltd acted as financial adviser to Tata. It of course might have to fork out United States $ 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.

"Instead of closing down the consumer mobile business, which would have entailed a much higher cost and involved letting go of employees and vendors etc, we have chosen this route", Tata Group chief financial officer Saurabh Agrawal told PTI.

Tatas to merge telecom business with Bharti Airtel