Airtel to buy Tata Group's consumer mobile business

telecomasia.net

India’s Bharti Airtel has agreed to acquire Tata Teleservices’ consumer mobile businesses as part of the wave of consolidation sweeping the sector.

Under the agreement, Airtel will absorb Tata Teleservices’ consumer mobile businesses across 19 of India’s 22 telecoms circles, the Economic Times reported.

The acquisition has been approved by the boards of Airtel, Tata Sons, Tata Telervices and Tata Teleservices Maharashtra.

It will cover all customers and assets of Tata’s consumer mobile business, including 178.5 MHz of spectrum across the 850-MHz, 1800-MHz and 2100-MHz bands. It will also provide Airtel with a right to use part of Tata’s fiber network.

According to the report, the merger is being conducted on a debt and cash free basis, but Airtel will assume part of Tata’s unpaid spectrum acquisition debt.

The deal is a lifeline for Tata Group, which had been considering shutting down Tata Teleservices altogether due to ongoing losses. The company will split off and retain ownership of Tata Teleservices’ enterprise fixed line and broadband business.

The company is in initial stages of exploring combining this enterprise business with Tata Communications and its retail fixed line and broadband business with Tata Sky. Tata also plans to retain its stake in tower company Viom Networks.

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