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10 September, 2015 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 10 September, 2015 02:22:48 AM
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Robi, Airtel in talks to be merged

Robi, Airtel in talks to be merged

Mobile phone operators Robi and Airtel are likely to see a merger as their parent companies -- Malaysia-based Axiata Group Berhad (Axiata) and India’s Bharti Airtel Limited (Bharti) -- are exploring possibilities of combining their telecoms business operations in Bangladesh.
Axiata and Bharti wish to announce that they have entered into an exclusive discussion to explore the possibility of merging the business operations of their telecommunication subsidiaries in Bangladesh, namely—Robi Axiata Limited and Airtel Bangladesh Limited, according to a joint statement of Robi and Airtel received by The Independent yesterday.
There is, however, no certainty that this discussion will lead into the execution of binding definitive agreements between the telecoms operators, it said.
If the discussion is positive, the deal is likely to be finalised by December, said a source. The statement said this announcement is to facilitate the ongoing discussions and exchange of information between the operators, including but not limited to discussions with relevant regulatory authorities.
“Axiata and Bharti will issue further announcement in the event if there is any material development on this matter,” it said.
According to the July 2015 statistics of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), Grameenphone — promoted by Telenor — has a subscriber base of 53.98 million while Banglalink 32.4 million, Robi Axiata 27.9 million, Airtel Bangladesh 9 million and Pacific Bangladesh Telecom 1.1 million users.
If Airtel and Robi merge, the combined entity will make it the second-largest telecom service provider in Bangladesh in terms of subscribers.
Airtel is present in all 64 districts of the country with a distribution network comprising of 152,000 retailers. It has 3G network with more than 2,000 3G sites across Bangladesh.
Robi Axiata has property worth Tk 30,000 crore in Bangladesh and employed about 1,450 people while Airtel Bangladesh has a workforce of 350 people.
In Robi, Axiata has a share of 91.6pc while NTT Docomo of Japan has 8.4pc. If the two companies combine, Axiata’s share will be 70 per cent, Airtel’s 25 percent and NTT Docom’s share will be 5 per cent.
Earlier, Bharti Airtel announced its plans to exit from four African telecom markets as well. It was in talks with Orange for the same.
An Airtel spokesperson told PTI, "We remain committed to Bangladesh. The proposed merger, where we will be strategic minority partner, will combine the strengths of both companies to create the second-largest mobile operator in Bangladesh with over 37 million customers."

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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