The merger of Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers ? to create a USD 14.6 billion firm with worlds second-largest number of mobile masts -- is not expected to lead to any job loss given the ?disparate and largely non-overlapping nature? of operations of both companies, a senior Bharti official said.

There will be an overlap at the corporate level for less than 100 positions but that too will be accommodated in anticipation of business growth and in new projects such as smart cities, said the official familiar with the blockbuster deal struck last month.

 

The merged entity will have in its fold more than 163,000 towers across India - largest after China Tower. Bharti Airtel and Vodafone will jointly control the combined firm.

The transaction, subject to regulatory and other approvals, including from the Competition Commission of India (CCI), Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Department of Telecom (FDI approval), is expected to close before the end of the fiscal year.

The merged entity, which will be called Indus Towers Ltd, will remain listed. Bharti Airtel, which currently owns 53.5 per cent in Bharti Infratel, will get 33.8 per cent to 37.2 per cent stake in the combined entity. Its shareholding is dependent upon what Aditya Birla Groups Idea and Providence do with their minority shareholding in Indus Tower.

Similarly, Vodafone India will get between 26.7 per cent and 29.4 per cent of the Indus-Bharti Infratel combine.

Vodafone has 42 per cent stake in Indus Tower. Bharti Infratel too has an equivalent stake while the remaining is with Aditya Birlas Idea (11.15 per cent) and Providence (4.85 per cent).

Bharti Infratel has 1,248 employees on a standalone basis while Indus Towers has 2,440 employees as on March 2018.

?Over the years, Bharti Infratel has been successful in building a culture of innovation and excellence with a strong ?people? focus. We believe given the disparate and largely non-overlapping nature of operations of both the companies, the combined entity will be able to absorb current employees post the merger,? the Bharti official said, responding to a specific query on the impact of the merger on existing jobs.

The official added: ?A few employees with role overlaps will be offered opportunities in new projects like Smart Cities which is the next big focus for the company.? These positions at the head office adding up to 80-90 employees will be ?accommodated? in view of business growth and incoming projects, the official noted.

Bharti Infratel did not respond to an e-mail query.

Indus Towers currently operates in 15 telecom service areas or circles while Bharti Infratels operations are focused on the remaining seven circles.

A statement issued on April 25 to announce the merger had stated the ?combination of Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers, with their highly complementary footprints, will create a pan-India tower company with the ability to offer high-quality passive infrastructure services to all operators on a non-discriminatory basis, needed to support the pan-India expansion of wireless broadband services using 4G/4G+/5G technologies?. - India Today


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