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Bharti Infratel, Indus Towers Merger Date Extended To February 24

Bharti Infratel on Tuesday said it has extended the deadline for merger with mobile tower company Indus Towers by two more months to February 24 as it has not received the necessary government approvals so far. This is the second time the company has extended the deadline for the same reason.

“The board of directors has further extended the long stop date till February 24, 2020, subject to agreement on closing adjustments and other conditions precedent for closing, with each party retaining the right to terminate and withdraw the scheme,” the company said in a BSE filing.

The company also added, “There can be no assurance that the merger can be completed within the extended time-frame”, and said that the completion of merger is contingent upon receipt of requisite
regulatory approvals and fulfilment of other conditions precedent.

“Further to our letter dated October 24, 2019, we wish to inform you that the requisite government approvals have not been received till date, and consequently, conditions precedent could not be completed within the extended timeline ie December 24, 2019,” the company pointed out.

In October this year, Bharti Infratel had extended the deadline for merger by two months to December 24 in the absence of regulatory approvals.

As on September 30, 2019, Bharti Infratel and Vodafone India hold 42% stake each in Indus. Vodafone Idea holds 11.15% stake in the mobile tower firm.

The merger of Indus Towers and Bharti Infratel announced in April last year aimed at creating the largest mobile tower operator in the world outside China with over 163,000 towers across 22 telecom service areas.

As per the plans, the combined company, which would fully own the respective businesses of Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers, would take the name Indus Towers and will continue to be listed on stock exchanges.

The company had also said the move would provide exit opportunity to shareholder operators of Indus. The timely completion of the tower deal was critical for the companies, particularly since it would allow Bharti and Vodafone Idea in offloading stake and raising funds.―Financial Express

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