Bharti Airtel, one of the most prominent telecom operators in India, on Thursday announced that it was acquiring Norwegian telecom operator Telenor. Although the financial details of the deal have not been revealed, Airtel will be continuing the operations of Telenor.
Telenor India operates in seven circles: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West) and Assam. Stating that the acquisition would boost its spectrum footprint by 43.4 MHz in the 1800 MHz band, Airtel said that it would create substantial long term value for shareholders.
“The acquisition of additional spectrum through this transaction, which made an attractive business proposition, has further enhanced our already solid spectrum portfolio. The proposed transaction will also create substantial long term value for our shareholders given the significant synergies,” said Gopal Mittal, managing director and CEO (India and South Asia) at Bharti Airtel.
Analysts have attributed this financial interaction to the boom of Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio which has effectively curtailed competition in the market for small players.
“We believe today’s agreement is in the best interest of our customers, employees and Telenor Group. Finding a long term solution to our India business has been a priority for us and we are pleased with our agreement with Airtel. The decision to exit India has not been taken lightly,” Sigve Brekke, CEO of Telenor Group, said.
Bharti Airtel’s share increased 6% after the announcement.