The country’s largest telecom operator, Bharti Airtel, on Wednesday said it has called off plans to acquire the subscribers and passive infrastructure assets of Loop mobile, which has operations in the Mumbai circle, as the deal failed to secure due approvals and clearances from the department of telecommunications (DoT).
“Under the agreements executed with Loop Mobile, the transaction was conditional upon DoT approvals which even as of today (November 5), have not been received,” said Mukesh Bhavnani, group general counsel and company secretary of Bharti Airtel, in a statement to the NSE and BSE.
“Loop had late last evening sent us an email noting that the DoT approvals had not yet been received and had also noted that it was beyond the time envisaged for securing such approval,” Bhavnani said.
“In the light of this update and the fact that Loop’s mobile licence is to expire at the end of this month, we have decided to terminate the discussion with regard to the transaction for acquiring subscribers of Loop.”
Bharti Airtel had in February signed a deal with Loop Mobile to buy the latter’s business and assets in Mumbai under a strategic agreement for about Rs 700 crore. The two had applied to DoT for approval of business transfer in March 2014.
Under the agreement, 3 million Loop Mobile subscribers were to join Bharti Airtel’s 4 million subscribers, making it the largest network in the city.
However, the DoT is yet to give a clearance to the deal as Loop Mobile and its subsidiary, Loop Telecom, owed the government about Rs 808 crore in spectrum and other charges.