Tata Teleservices Airtel Merger: DoT okays merger of Tata Tele consumer mobility business with Airtel

MUMBAI: The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has accredited the merger of Tata Teleservices’ client mobility enterprise with Bharti Airtel, paving the best way for the closure of the sector’s final main M&A deal greater than two years after it was introduced.

The DoT “has conveyed approval of the Competent Authority in DoT for taking up document demerger of Consumer Mobile Business Undertaking of the Company into Bharti Airtel Limited (“BAL”) by way of the Composite Scheme of Arrangement between the Company and BAL which was accredited by the respective Shareholders and Creditors and by …National Company Law Tribunal benches at Delhi and Mumbai vide their orders dated January 30, 2019 and December 4, 2018 respectively,” mentioned Tata Teleservices in a regulatory submitting on Thursday.

The DoT’s nod got here in after the Supreme Court (SC) refused to grant keep to an interim order of Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), which had directed the federal government to clear the deal.

The DoT had moved SC in opposition to the TDSAT which stayed the federal government’s demand for about Rs 8,000 crore in financial institution ensures for one-time spectrum fees (OTSC), and requested the federal government to take the merger on document. After the TDSAT order, Airtel and the Tatas had gone forward and merged the operations, and filed within the Registrar of Companies, which took the deal on document.

The DoT then moved the SC, difficult the appellate’s order. The apex courtroom nonetheless refused to place a maintain on the merger and directed the federal government to offer its nod to the alliance.

“The DoT approval is without prejudice to the rights and contentions of the DoT till the Telecom Petition No. 22 of 2019 filed by BAL which is pending before Hon’ble TDSAT (and appeal, if any, against the Judgement(s) of the Hon’ble TDSAT) is disposed of,” mentioned the regulatory assertion on Thursday.

The closure of the deal will assist Airtel take in Tata Group-owned telco’s client mobile operations in 19 circles — 17 below Tata Teleservices and two below the listed Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) Ltd.

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The “cash free debt free deal” will get Airtel an extra 178.5 MHz of spectrum in three bands which might be extensively used for 4G and assist it to maintain tempo with Reliance Jio Infocomm.

The deal has helped Tata Group to rid itself of the loss-making mobility enterprise, which has been a drag on its funds.

The Bharti Airtel-Tata Teleservices pact was the final of the foremost M&A offers stitched up amid immense monetary stress on then current telcos as a result of brutal value conflict unleashed because the entry of Jio in September 2016. Smaller operators comparable to Telenor India and Tata Teleservices exited — each purchased by Airtel. Sistema Shyam Teleservices merged into Reliance Communications, which, along with Aircel, has gone bankrupt and filed for insolvency.

Even greater operators like Vodafone India and Idea Cellular had been pressured to merge operations to remain alive out there.

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