Bharti Airtel to buy Loop Mobile
17 February 2014 |
Indian operator Bharti Airtel is set to acquire mobile operator Loop Mobile in a $112.74 million deal, according to local reports.
Loop operates in the financial capital of Mumbai with an estimated 3 million subscribers, and a sale could be officially announced this week.
The deal will reportedly be carried out on a slump sale basis and, as well as its subscribers, Airtel will acquire Loop’s 400 telecoms towers and fibre-optic network.
A successful acquisition will make Bharti Airtel the largest operator in the Mumbai area – by subscribers and ahead of rival Vodafone – but the company will also assume Loop’s debt of around Rs 400 crore.
Loop holds 8MHz of frequency in the 900MHz band and the company did not participate in the auction in February 2014 to renew its licence, which will expire at the end of this year.
Sources claim that Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman of Bharti Enterprises, is in discussions with Loop Mobile and if successful, the deal will mark India’s first merger in six years.
Norway’s Telenor and the UK’s Vodafone have also been eyeing Loop Mobile over the last few months.