The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved Bharti Airtel's proposed merger of Norway-based Telenor's India operations, the Sunil Mittal-led telco said in a filing to stock exchanges. The statutory approval follows recent nod from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), BSE Limited (BSE) and National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE) for its proposed merger with Telenor India.
“The CCI has approved the proposed merger of Telenor (India) Communications Pvt Ltd with Bharti Airtel,” Airtel said in a filing.
The Sunil Mittal-led telecom operator had in February entered into a definitive agreement with Telenor South Asia Investments Pte Ltd to acquire Telenor India’s running operations 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.
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
Airtel, in a statement last week, said that both the companies filed the joint company application before the New Delhi Bench of the National Company Law Tribunal for approval of the proposed Scheme of the merger. "The merger is among other things subject to other statutory approvals including from the Competition Commission of India," Airtel said in a statement.
The acquisition will also enable Airtel to further bolster its spectrum footprint in these seven circles, with the addition of 43.4 MHz spectrum in the 1800 MHz band.
Airtel had earlier said that it would ensure quality services to Telenor India’s customers, while offering them the added benefits of its innovative product portfolio, access to superior voice & data services, mobile banking, VAS and domestic/ international roaming facilities. Telenor India’s operations and services will continue as normal until the completion of the transaction.
Gopal Vittal, Managing Director and CEO (India and South Asia), Bharti Airtel, earlier said, “On completion, the proposed acquisition will undergo seamless integration, both on the customer as well as the network side, and further strengthen our market position in several key circles... the acquisition of additional spectrum through this transaction, which made an attractive business proposition, has further enhanced their already solid spectrum portfolio. The proposed transaction will also create substantial long-term value for its shareholders given the significant synergies."