$100 billion Tata says goodbye to telecom business
$100 billion Tata says goodbye to telecom business
Tata Teleservices to merge with Bharti Airtel as Chandrasekaran offloads dragging business
13 October, 2017, 03:00
Bharti Airtel will acquire Tata Group's loss-making mobile telephony business, nearly for free, boosting its spectrum holding and raising subscriber base while saving the Tatas from the prospect of having to shut down the struggling unit.
However, N Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons said it was a most optimal solution.
The Karbonn A40 Indian phones come with a retail tag of 3,499 rupees, but BhartiAirtel customers can buy them for an upfront payment of 2,899 rupees and receive cashback of 1,500 rupees.
The merger will also provide Bharti Airtel the right to use Tata's existing fiber network.
The agreement, signed in 2008, failed to attract enough customers and Docomo triggered an option to sell its stake six years later after incurring losses.
"This is a good deal for Airtel and enables them to potentially become very strong and dominant player in data services market", said GV Giri of IIFL.
The telecom industry believes that Tata Group will shed some employees during the transition of business. Since Chandrasekaran took charge in February, monetizing assets, paring debts, and simplifying the group's cross-holding structure has been high on the agenda.
What are the advantages that Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservices will see post-merger?
Mumbai: Tatas may have made a decision to hang up on mobile services, but they intend to stay connected to the landline and broadband businesses.
With this deal, Airtel will have over 32 crore customers, way below 40 crore users with the merged Vodafone-Idea entity.
Agrawal, who in July joined Tatas from Aditya Birla Group, said closing down the business would have been against the ethos of Tata Group and would have rendered employees jobless.
Pressure has been mounting on telecom companies since Reliance Industries' telecom arm emerged on the scene in September previous year. Both these telecom operators announced their merger back in March this year, and after the transaction is complete, this merger will create the single largest telecom operator in India.
Its arrival left competitors scrambling to match the deep pockets of Jio which is backed by Ambani's hugely wealthy energy-to-chemicals conglomerate Reliance Industries. It said Jio was likely to roll out other offers to increase its subscriber base over the next two years, and the incumbents were likely to continue to respond with price cuts, discounts and promotions of their own.
If this acquisition deal does go through, it will mark yet another consolidation in India's beleaguered telecom sector.
Nikkei staff writers Kiran Sharma and Yuji Kuronuma in New Delhi contributed to this article.
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