Maxis merges Aircel with RCom to create new Indian operator

Maxis merges Aircel with RCom to create new Indian operator

Malaysia’s Maxis Communications has signed a definitive agreement to merge its Indian mobile operator, Aircel, with Reliance Communications (RCom), to create a business with nearly 200 million customers and an 18.3% market share.

Maxis and RCom – which is unrelated to Reliance Jio, launched last week by rival operator Reliance Industries – will each own 50% of the business. Russian industrial group Sistema will continue to own 10% of RCom, following an earlier merger with its MTS India.

A statement by the two companies said: “The RCom-Aircel combination will create a strong operator clearly ranked amongst India’s top four telcos by customer base and revenues, also ranking amongst the top three operators by revenues in 12 important circles [market areas].”

RCom has a 9.8% market share with 110 million customers, making it the fourth biggest operator in India. Aircel, the fifth biggest in the market, had an 8.5% share, with 84 million customers.

According to Indian reports, the combined company – which is so far unnamed – will have an asset base of $9.7 billion and a net worth of $5.2 billion. Maxis is believed to have invested $5.2 billion into Aircel.

The operation will be one of the largest private sector companies in India. It will have total spectrum of 448MHz in the 850, 900, 1800 and 2100MHz bands.