RCom close to 'definitive' pact for Aircel acquisition

Having extended talks with Aircel twice, Reliance Communications (RCom) on Thursday said it expects to announce the merger with the company "very shortly" after the signing of a "binding, definitive" pact.

"RCom and Maxis Communications Berhad (MCB) and Sindya Securities and Investments Pvt Ltd (Sindya), the shareholders of Aircel Ltd (Aircel), expect to sign binding definitive documentation and announce the proposed transaction for the combination of the Indian wireless business of RCom and Aircel very shortly," the company said in a BSE filing.

It said however that any transaction will be subject to regulatory, shareholders' and other third party approvals. "Hence, there is no certainty that any transaction will result."

Last month, the company and Aircel had decided to extend by 30 days the discussion period for their possible merger.

This was for the second time the companies had extended the discussion period for the merger. The telcos previously on 22 March had extended the merger talks by 60 days.

Last year in December, the two firms announced that they have entered 90-day 'exclusivity period' for the deal that will exclude RCom's tower and optical fibre assets for which a separate sale process is ongoing, the company said in a statement.

RCom and Aircel talks, if successful, would lead to a combined entity holding 19.3 per cent of the total spectrum allocated to the industry – the highest in the country by an entity.

The proposed combined entity will hold spectrum across all allocated bands - 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz and 2300MHz - for 2G, 3G and 4G services.