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CCI approves merger of Bharti Infratel, Indus Towers

The merger is expected to close before the end of the financial year 2018-19

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MUMBAI: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has finally approved the proposed merger of Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers, two large infrastructure providers. The merger will create a $14.6 billion company that will be among the largest mobile tower entities worldwide with 1.63 lakh towers.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and Department of Telecommunications also need to give the green signal for the merger.

"We are pleased to inform you that approval of CCI has been received for the proposed merger of Bharti Infratel Limited and Indus Towers Ltd," said the tower arm of India's largest telco Bharti Airtel in a regulatory filing to the exchanges as quoted by The Hindu.

Another stakeholder in Indus Towers is Vodafone and will be issued with 783.1 million new shares in the combined company, in exchange for its 42 per cent shareholding in Indus Towers. The transaction values Vodafone’s shareholding at Rs 284 billion ($4.3 billion).

A report by Medianama stated that the providence can choose to either receive cash or new shares in exchange for 3.35 per cent stake. The remainder from the total 4.85 per cent shareholding will be exchanged for shares. Bharti Airtel’s shareholding will be diluted from 53.5 per cent in Bharti Infratel today to 37.2 per cent in the combined company.

Bharti Airtel and Vodafone will jointly control the combined company. The merger is expected to close before the end of the financial year 2018-2019. 

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