RCom gets SEBI, stock exchanges nod for wireless demerger into Aircel

Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications (RCom) has received nod of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), BSE Limited (BSE) and National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE) for the proposed Scheme of Arrangement for demerger of the Wireless division of the Company into Aircel and Dishnet Wireless (the Scheme), the telecom operator said in a statement on Wednesday.

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The telecom operator said that it has now filed an application with National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Mumbai Bench, for approval of the said Scheme.

The proposed transaction is subject to other necessary approvals. After the completion of the deal, RCom and the present shareholders of Aircel Limited will hold 50% each in Aircel Limited. The telco in a recent analyst call had said that its merger with Aircel, and tower deal with Brookfield will be completed by the middle of 2017, while the merger with Sistema Shyam Teleservices, which operates under MTS India, will be completed by March end this year.

RCom had entered into a merger deal with unlisted Aircel in September last year in order to merger its wireless business with the latter’s wireless operations to create a new entity with assets worth Rs 65,000 crore. The merger will create India’s fourth largest telco by customers and revenues. The move is aimed at reducing RCom’s overall debt by Rs 20,000 crore, which is nearly 40% of the company’s total debt.

The merged entity will have the second-largest spectrum holding among all operators, aggregating 448 MHz across 850, 900, 1800 and 2100 MHz bands. The combined entity will create a strong operator clearly ranked amongst India’s top 4 telcos by customer base and revenues, also ranking amongst the top 3 operators by revenues in 12 important circles, RCom said.

The combined entity will enjoy substantial benefits of scale driving significant revenue growth, and capex and opex synergies with an NPV of Rs. 20,000 crore ($3 billion). RCom and MCB will each hold a 50% stake in the merged entity, with equal representation on the Board of Directors and all Committees. The Company will be managed by an independent professional team under the supervision of the Board.

The combined company will be one of India’s largest private sector companies, with an asset base of over Rs. 65,000 crore ($9.7 billion) and net worth of Rs. 35,000 crore ($5.2 billion).

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