Bharti Infratel-Indus Towers Merger Approved by Competition Committee

The Competition Commission of India has approved the merger of Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers, the country's largest tower company, one of several required steps towards the creation of an entity that is among world leaders in valuation and number of towers owned.

The merger will result in new company, proposed to be Indus Towers Ltd., which will be listed on India's Bombay Stock Exchange and second globally to China Tower with over 163,000 towers. While Bharti Airtel and Vodafone are currently equal majority shareholders in Indus, the former will be the largest shareholder in the new entity depending upon options chosen by minority shareholder, Idea Cellular, which may choose to exit its investment in exchange for cash. It may also result in the expected merger of Vodafone and Idea to create India's largest telecommunications company, leaping past Bharti Airtel, during a time when competition has been fierce within the country and has resulted in multiple consolidations of mobile network operators.

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