More reports on: Tata Teleservices, Telecom, Telenor

Airtel to take on 65% of Telenor, TTSL staff post merger

23 January 2018

Bharti Airtel will take on about two-thirds of the roughly 6,000 employees at Telenor India and Tata Teleservices Ltd's consumer business after absorbing the two companies, according to an Economic Times report citing sources.

The Sunil Mittal-owned Airtel may post about 15 per cent of the employees from the two telcos overseas, mainly in Africa, they said.

"It's inevitable in a post-merger scenario all employees will not find meaningful roles and, accordingly, will be provided complete support to deal with such an outcome," an Airtel spokesperson told ET in an email.

TTSL's consumer mobility business employed some 5,000 in October, while Telenor India employed about 2,000. Although some employees have left both companies, some at TTSL have been or are being absorbed in other roles within the Tata Group, according to the report.

Airtel's acquisition of TTSL's mobile business on debt-free, cash-free basis, or effectively for free, was announced in October 2017. It needs clearances from the Securities & Exchange Board of India, National Company Law Tribunal and Department of Telecommunications.

The Telenor India purchase, announced in February 2017, needs approvals from NCLT and DoT.

"Pending completion of merger formalities, operations at Telenor and Tata Teleservices are continuing in the normal course of business. There are firm plans to integrate the operations of these entities once the merger formalities are complete," the Airtel spokesperson said.

Experts said Airtel, which has posted a drop in revenue and earnings due to competition, will be hard pressed to keep its wage bill down and would take in only what is absolutely required.

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