RCom in talks with Aircel to combine mobile businesses

It will create India's 2nd largest telco

RCom in talks with Aircel to combine mobile businesses

Anil Ambani-controlled Reliance Communications is definitely looking to be at the forefront, when it comes to consolidation in the telecom sector.

After deciding to demerge Sistema’s Indian wireless business into RCom, the company is now eyeing the wireless business of Aircel.

“Reliance Communications has entered into a 90-day exclusivity period with Maxis Communications Berhad (MCB) and Sindya Securities and Investments, the shareholders of Aircel, to consider the potential combination of the Indian wireless business of RCom and Aircel, to mutually derive the expected substantial benefits of in-country consolidation, including opex and capex synergies and revenue enhancement,” RCom said in a release.
The potential combination will exclude RCom’s towers and optical fibre infrastructure, for which RCom is proceeding with an asset sale, as announced on December 4, 2015, the telecom company said.

The discussions are non-binding in nature. Any transaction will be subject to due diligence, definitive documentation and regulatory, shareholders’ and other third-party approvals. Hence, there is no certainty that any transaction will result, RCom added.

The announcement follows the agreement signed by RCom on December 4 with Tillman Global Holdings and TPG Asia to sell its nationwide tower assets and related infrastructure in a deal which is likely to fetch RCom around Rs 20,000 crore.

The current debt of RCom, estimated to be around Rs 10,000 crore, will be transferred to this new entity and the company will become free of debt. “RCom has expressed interest in focusing on enterprise business while the new entity, whose brand and other details will be finalised later, will run mobile business created by using resources of RCom, Aircel and MTS,” they said.

Spectrum allocation
The combination of RCom, Aircel, MTS wireless businesses will hold 19.3 per cent of the total spectrum allocated to the the industry - the highest in the country by an entity.

The new entity, which is in the works, will hold spectrum across all allocated bands— 800 Mhz, 900 Mhz, 1800 Mhz, 2100 Mhz and 2300 MHz — for 2G, 3G and 4G services.

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