NCLT clears Airtel's acquisition of Tata Tele
22 January 2019
The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has approved Bharti Airtel’s acquisition of Tata Teleservices’ (TTSL) mobility business, a development that will help the company strengthen its 4G network and compete with arch rival Reliance Jio Infocomm.
“The National Company Law Tribunal, New Delhi, Principal Bench, vide its order dated January 17, 2019 (Order) has sanctioned the Composite Scheme of Arrangement between Tata Teleservices Ltd, Bharti Airtel Ltd and Bharti Hexacom Ltd and their respective shareholders and creditors under Sections 230 to 232 of the Companies Act, 2013,” the company stated said in the BSE filing on Monday.
The scheme, it said, would “be given effect, subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions, including transferee company (Bharti Airtel) obtaining necessary approval of NCLT’s Delhi bench and the approval of the DoT”.
The acquisition will help Airtel to increase its consumer base and improve market share. Airtel will also get additional spectrum pool of 178.5 MHz in the 1800, 2100 and 850 MHz bands — all widely used for 4G — out of this merger, according to the stock market filing.
Airtel will now need the approval of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to complete the regulatory process.
The Bharti Airtel-Tata Teleservices deal has already received statutory approvals from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and Securities Exchange Board of India (Sebi).
Closure of the merger deal will also reportedly provide Bharti Airtel with an indefeasible right to use (IRU) - or the first right to use - for part of the existing fibre network of the Tatas.
Bharti Airtel said it will file a certified copy of the order with the exchange separately.
As part of the agreement, Airtel will absorb TTSL’s operations in 19 telecom circles (17 under TTSL and 2 under TTSL, Maharashtra Ltd) and also assume a small portion of the unpaid spectrum liability of Tata towards DoT, which is to be paid on deferred basis, it added.