Bharti Airtel is on the verge of merging with Telenor India and today, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has reportedly approved the proposed merger between both the operators. The proposed merger had earlier received a nod from Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), BSE Limited (BSE) and National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE).
A report from Business Standard says that NCLT has "instructed the companies to hold a meeting of equity shareholders and unsecured creditors." For the uninitiated, Bharti Airtel, India's leading telecom operator, back in February 2017 announced that it would be acquiring Indian operations of Norway-based Telenor. However, the amount of the merger remains undisclosed.
The Sunil Bharti Mittal-led telco would completely take over Telenor's spectrum in seven circles – Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West) and Assam. These circles represent a high population concentration and therefore offer a high potential for growth. Yes, Airtel will take over the current 44 million subscribers of Telenor as well.
The proposed acquisition will include the transfer of all of Telenor India’s assets and customers, further augmenting Airtel’s overall customer base and network. It will also enable Airtel to further bolster its strong spectrum footprint in these seven circles, with the addition of 43.4 MHz spectrum in the 1800 MHz band.
Currently, Telenor is struggling to hold its own against the top telcos such as Reliance Jio, Vodafone India, and Idea Cellular. The TRAI subscriber addition data released every month also showed that Telenor is actively losing its subscribers, more than anyone else in the market. Last year, Telenor' subscriber base was over 50 million, which is now reduced close to 44 million.
Besides the approvals, Airtel promised to deliver seamless services to all the 44 million Telenor subscribers, which would be operating under Airtel in next few months. After all, Bharti Airtel is the top telecom operator of India and is known for its good customer centric approach.