Tata Teleservices gets the greenlight on Airtel merger

Tata Teleservices gets the greenlight on Airtel merger

12 February 2020 | Natalie Bannerman

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Tata Teleservices has received the approval of the Department of Telecom (DoT) for its merger of its consumer mobile business with Bharti Airtel.

In a regulatory filing, Tata said that the DoT “conveyed approval of the Competent Authority in DoT for taking on record demerger of Consumer Mobile Business Undertaking of the Company into Bharti Airtel Limited”. Adding that “the DoT approval is without prejudice to the rights and contentions of the DoT till the telecom petition No. 22 of 2019 filed by BAL which is pending before Hon'ble TDSAT”.

The DoT did however ask Airtel to submit a bank guarantee of close to Rs 7,000 crore ($70 billiob) with an immediate payment due of Rs 1,287.97 crore ($12 billion), in order to it acknowledge the merger on record.

As part of the merger, Airtel will absorb Tata Teleservices' consumer mobile business operations in 19 markets - 17 under Tata Teleservices and 2 under Tata Teleservices Ltd. It also inherits the company’s small debt due to unpaid spectrum.

One completed, the deal will bolster Airtel's radio wave assets with additional 178.5MHz spectrum in 1800, 2100 and 850MHz bands, which is typically used for 4G.