Companies

Bharti Infratel board to meet on June 11 for final call on merger with Indus Towers

PTI New Delhi | Updated on June 04, 2020 Published on June 04, 2020

File photo   -  THE HINDU

Telecom Infrastructure company Bharti Infratel on Thursday said its board will meet on June 11 to take final decision on the merger with Indus Towers.

The company said there can be no certainty on whether the merger will get completed or not, as each party had retained the right to terminate and withdraw the scheme at any point.

The board of directors in a meeting on Wednesday took note of the status of scheme of arrangement between Indus Towers and Bharti Infratel, the company said.

“The board has decided to meet on June 11, 2020, to take the final decision on the matter, keeping in mind the best interest of the company and its stakeholders,” Bharti Infratel said in a regulatory filing.

Bharti Infratel noted that its board in a meeting on April 23 extended the long stop date (or deadline) for the scheme till June 24 with each party retaining the right to terminate and withdraw the scheme at any point.

“Accordingly, there can be no certainty whether the merger will get completed or not,” it added.

Bharti Infratel holds 42 per cent stake in the mobile tower firm Indus Towers, which is a three-way joint venture with British telecom giant Vodafone and Vodafone Idea having 42 per cent and 11.15 per cent stake, respectively.

During the company’s fourth quarter earnings call, Akhil Gupta, chairman of Bharti Infratel, had admitted that the impending merger has been an overhang on the company but indicated that the matter will be decided one way or the other, in the next two months.

“With a fair degree of confidence I can say that this would be last final extension and within this two month period...this thing will be decided one way or the other. Hopefully, we should be able to complete the merger,” he had said.

Market watchers note that the delay in completion of the deal and the multiple extensions is a blow to Vodafone Idea, which has to cough up staggering Rs 58,000 crore in statutory dues to the government and had been eyeing about Rs 5,500 crore from stake sale in Indus Towers.

Published on June 04, 2020
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