NCLT okays Airtel, Tata Tele merger

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has approved Bharti Airtel’s acquisition of Tata Teleservices’ (TTSL) mobility business, Airtel said in a stock filing on Monday.

The merger, which is subject to the approval of Department of Telecommunications (DoT) now, will help Airtel to strengthen its 4G network and compete with Reliance Jio and come closer to number one player, Vodafone-Idea, in terms of market share. Airtel will get additional spectrum pool of 178.5 MHz in the 1800, 2100 and 850 MHz bands — all widely used for 4G — out of this merger.

“The National Company Law Tribunal, New Delhi, Principal Bench, vide its order dated January 17, 2019 (Order) has sanctioned the Composite Scheme of Arrangement between Tata Teleservices Ltd, Bharti Airtel Ltd and Bharti Hexacom Ltd and their respective shareholders and creditors under Sections 230 to 232 of the Companies Act, 2013,” it said in the BSE filing.

A certified copy of the Order will be filed with the exchange separately, the company said. Bharti Hexacom is a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel. As part of the agreement, Airtel will absorb TTSL’s operations in 19 telecom circles (17 under TTSL and 2 under TTSL, Maharashtra Ltd) and also assume a small portion of the unpaid spectrum liability of Tata towards DoT, which is to be paid on deferred basis, it added.

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