NCLT clears Airtel/Telenor tie-up

22 Jan 2018

The planned merger of wireless market leader Bharti Airtel and Norwegian-owned cellco Telenor India has been approved by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) after the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) did not raise objections to the deal. The Economic Times writes, however, that the DoT notified Airtel that it would be required to submit bank guarantees totalling around INR17 billion (USD266 million) to the government for spectrum payments.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, the duo signed an agreement in February last year under which Airtel would acquire all of Telenor’s spectrum, licences, infrastructure and customers, whilst Airtel would take on Telenor’s outstanding spectrum payments and operational contracts. The deal received approvals from antitrust watchdog the Competition Commission of India (CCI), as well as the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) in mid-2017.

India, Bharti Airtel, Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Telenor India