DOT approves Indus Towers and Bharti Infratel merger

DOT approves merger of Indus Towers with Bharti Infratel

Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers merger deal was signed on April 23 last year and was to have been concluded by October 24. However the merger was delayed in absence of DOT approval.

The Centre on Friday approved the merger of the country's largest mobile tower company Indus Towers with Bharti Infratel.

The merged entity will create one of the World largest telecom tower company with more than 1.63 lakh towers

The Department of Telecom (DOT) has gave its green signal for merger, sources in the government said.

As per the plans, the combined company, which would fully own the respective businesses of Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers, would change its name to Indus Towers Ltd and will continue to be listed on Indian stock exchanges.

Debt-hit Vodafone Idea Limited ( VIL) was banking on this merger  to raise roughly Rs 4,500 crore from the sale of its stake in the combined entity which could be used to pay a portion of its AGR dues to the DOT.

VIL, which was supposed to pay Rs 53,000 crore AGR dues to the government as per the DOT estimate, so far paid only Rs 3,500 crore.

Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers merger deal was signed on April 23 last year and was to have been concluded by October 24. However the merger was delayed in absence of DOT approval.

At present Indus Towers is jointly owned by Bharti Infratel (42%), Vofafone ( 42%), Aditya Birla Idea Group ( 11.5%) and Providence ( 4.85%). After the merger, Bharti Airtel and UK's Vodafone Plc are set to hold 37.2% and 29.4% stakes respectively in the combined tower entity.

These companies expecting that merger will give new growth opportunities for longer period in fibre sharing, small cells, data centres, wi-fi offloading among others.

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