Airtel to acquire struggling Tata Tele on 'no-debt, no-cash' basis

Airtel to acquire struggling Tata Tele on 'no-debt, no-cash' basis

The Airtel- Tata merger is being done on a debt-free cash-free basis, except for Bharti Airtel assuming a small portion of the unpaid spectrum liability of Tata's towards DoT, which is to be paid on deferred basis, the statement added. Reliance Jio was able to grow its subscriber count to 128 million in just a year.

While Bharti Airtel will also have an "indefeasible" right to use for part of the existing fibre network of Tata, TTSL and TSML's consumer mobile business operations and services will continue as normal until the completion of the transaction.

Agrawal, who in July joined Tatas from Aditya Birla Group, said closing down the business would have been against the ethos of Tata Group and would have rendered employees jobless.

The price war has led to major losses for most carriers, and spurred India's banking regulator - the Reserve Bank of India -to ask banks to review their telecoms sector exposure and boost their provisioning for any loans made to the sector.

Tata Teleservices will merge its consumer mobile businesses with Bharti Airtel Ltd, the companies said in a statement.

"Tata Communications proposes to engage in exploratory discussions with TTSL and TTML regarding the potential acquisition of its enterprise business", Tata Communications said in a regulatory filing. The next biggest merge is when Vodafone merges with Idea making it the most subscribed company in the telecom business.

The merger will be carried out on a debt-free, cash-free basis.

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Tata Tele's debt of Rs 28,800 crore will be settled by Tata group.

It was observed that the Boards of Tata Sons, TTSL, and TTML had also given their approval.

The Karbonn A40 Indian phones come with a retail tag of 3,499 rupees, but Bharti Airtel customers can buy them for an upfront payment of 2,899 rupees and receive cashback of 1,500 rupees.

In February, Airtel absorbed Telenor's operations in seven circles - Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West) and Assam in a similar no cash deal.

Tata could not compete with established players - Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone and Reliance Jio - in the highly competitive telecom market. Having said that, Tata will retain its stake in Viom while taking care of all the liabilities associated with it.

Goldman Sachs (India) Securities Private Limited is financial adviser to Tata. The team of Bharti Airtel is said to be discussing the deal internally and might announce it officially later today or tomorrow.

Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran had recently conceded that the groups mobile business Tata Teleservices is in a "really bad shape" and that a "tough call" will have to be taken on the business in this financial year.

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