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Bharti Airtel to take ownership of Telenor’s operations in India

Staff Writer |
Telenor ASA entered into a definitive agreement with Bharti Airtel, whereby Airtel will take full ownership of Telenor India.

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Airtel is India’s largest wireless operator with over 269 million subscribers and a revenue market share of over 33 percent.

As the new owner, Airtel will take over Telenor India’s spectrum, licenses and operations, including its employees and customer base of 44 million. Telenor’s operations and services will continue as normal until the completion of the transaction.

The transaction will not trigger any impairment. As of fourth quarter 2016, the remaining value of tangible and intangible assets in Telenor India amounted to NOK 0.3 billion.

According to the agreement, Airtel and Telenor India will merge and Airtel will take over Telenor India as soon as all necessary approvals are received. As part of the agreement, Airtel will take over outstanding spectrum payments and other operational contracts, including tower lease.

The transaction is subject to requisite regulatory approvals, including approvals from the Department of Telecommunications in India (DoT) and the Competition Commission of India. The exposure to claims related to the period Telenor owned the business, will remain with Telenor.

The transaction is expected to close within 12 months. With effect from first quarter 2017, Telenor India will be treated as an asset held for sale and discontinued operations in Telenor Group’s financial reporting.

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