Bharti Airtel drops corporate rejig plan
Telecom giant Bharti Airtel on Tuesday said it was withdrawing its restructuring plans announced in April last year.
The government’s telecom reforms have resulted in a strong balance sheet, and the company plans to invest aggressively in the emerging growth opportunities in the digital economy, Airtel said.
In a stock exchange filing, Airtel said it would continue with its existing corporate structure, pursuing a plan to merge the DTH operations with itself.
“The seminal telecom sector reforms package announced by the Government of India has significantly boosted the outlook and investor confidence for the industry while simplifying the licence framework. With a strong balance sheet and 5G ready network, Bharti Airtel is well positioned to invest aggressively in the emerging growth opportunities offered by India’s digital economy,” the company said.
Airtel’s businesses will continue to be grouped under four key verticals — India, Digital, International and Infrastructure.
Bharti Airtel’s shares closed at Rs 697.2, up 0.87 per cent on Tuesday, on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
“The board of directors of Airtel is of the view that the existing corporate structure is optimal for leveraging the emerging opportunities and unlocking value . Therefore, the scheme of arrangement for the new corporate structure announced on April 14, 2021 stands withdrawn.”
Under a modified scheme, the company, as previously approved by the board, will merge its wholly-owned subsidiary Telesonic Networks with itself, resulting in the consolidation of fibre assets into Airtel. Besides, Nettle Infrastructure Investments will also be merged with Airtel.
“The company will pursue its plan to eventually fold the DTH business (Bharti Telemedia) into Airtel to move towards the NDCP vision of converged services to customers,” it said. NDCP refers to the National Digital Communications Policy.
Bharti Airtel last year had announced a new corporate structure that involved Airtel Digital Limited folding into the listed entity Bharti Airtel.
The company at that time had stated that the telecom business will be housed in a newly created entity — Airtel Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bharti Airtel.