Maxis may pour up to $1.1b more into Aircel

19 Dec 2017

Malaysia's Maxis is considering investing at least $500 million and potentially up to $1.1 billion in its loss-making Indian operation Aircel.

Maxis owner Ananda Krishnan remains committed to Aircel despite having invested $7 billion over a decade without generating returns, the Economic Times reported.

Aircel is currently pursuing options for dealing with its large debt burden after failing to clinch a planned merger with Reliance Communications. Recent rumors suggested that the company could shut down operations in six circles and is pursuing a potential sale to a larger rival.

But according to the latest report, which cites unnamed sources, Maxis is considering pouring more money into Aircel, while Aircel's creditors are considering a plan to restructure the company's 155 billion rupee ($2.4 billion) debt burden.

Another source quoted in the report claims Aircel is in advanced talks with incumbent Bharti Airtel over a network sharing or intracircle roaming deal to help Aircel stay in operation.

Aircel is the last surviving minor player in a market undergoing a wave of consolidation as a result of heavy debts and intense competition triggered by the entry into the market of Reliance Jio Infocomm.

The report also suggests that the potential Maxis investment could merely be aimed at making Maxis a more attractive target to potential buyers.

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