Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers have approached the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for an approval on their proposed merger, which will create the world’s second-largest telecom tower company with more than 163,000 towers across 22 circles. Sources said the proposed transaction involves merger of Indus with, and into, Bharti Infratel by way of a scheme of amalgamation and arrangement under Sections 230 to 232 and other applicable provisions of the Companies Act.
On April 25, Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers agreed to merge in a deal that will create a firm with an equity value of rs 96,500 crore ($14.6 billion) and the combined entity will have the world’s second-largest number of mobile masts after China Tower. At present, Indus operates in 15 circles and Bharti Infratel in seven circles.
Bharti Airtel and Vodafone will jointly control the merged entity, which will have an enterprise value of Rs 71,500 crore ($10.8 billion). The merged entity will be called Indus Towers and will continue to be listed on the Indian bourses. It will also have 3.67 lakh tenancies and a tenancy ratio of 2.25. The merger will help unlock value for the companies.
Currently, Vodafone India has a 42% stake in Indus Tower. Bharti Infratel too has an equivalent stake while the remaining is with Idea (11.15%) and Providence (4.85%).
Sources said once Indus Towers becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Bharti Infratel, the PE funds consortium led by KKR with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and GIC Singapore could acquire a controlling stake in Bharti Infratel and also have the management control.