Axiata, Airtel to merge units in Bangladesh

telecomasia.net

Axiata Group and Bharti Airtel have entered an agreement to merge their operations in Bangladesh to create an operator with a combined customer base of around 40 million.

Under the deal, Robi Axiata and Airtel Bangladesh will combine their assets to create the second largest operator in Bangladesh after Grameenphone.

The merged company will have the widest network reach of any operator and a stronger position in the mobile internet segment, the companies said.

Axiata will own a controlling 68.3% in the combined company, Bharti Airtel will hold 25% and the remaining 6.7% will be held by existing shareholder NTT DoCoMo.

Airtel and Axiata first entered negotiations regarding a potential merger in Bangladesh in September last year.

“The highly competitive and crowded Bangladesh telecommunications sector solicits consolidation and we believe this merger will form greater economies of scale for both groups,” Robi CEO Supun Weerasinghe said.

“Additionally, it will result in shared investment capacity of the leading two industry players to optimize strategies and deliver enhanced value to consumers, benefiting the industry at large.”

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