New Delhi, April 25: Bharti Airtel has approved the merger of Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers to create the largest mobile tower entity worldwide with 1.63 lakh towers across 22 circles in India, a company statement said here on Wednesday. Before merger, Indus Towers was jointly owned by Bharti Infratel (42 per cent), Vodafone (42 per cent), Idea Group (11.15 per cent) and Providence Equity Partners (4.85 per cent).
Bharti Airtel and Vodafone will have equal rights in the combined company.
The combined company, which will fully own the respective businesses of Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers, will change its name to Indus Towers Limited and will continue to be listed on the Indian Stock Exchanges. The merger ratio of Indus Towers Ltd implies an enterprise value of Rs 71,500 crore ($10.8 billion). Vodafone Group, Idea Celular and Providence Equity agreed to merge their respective shareholdings in Indus Towers into Bharti Infratel. Idea Group will sell its 11.15% shareholding based on a valuation formula for Rs 6,500 crore. The group can opt to receive shares in lieu of cash equivalent to 7.1 per cent of the combined entity on the basis that Providence also elects to get new shares in exchange for its full 4.85 per cent shareholding in Indus Towers. No lock-in period is envisaged for the shares. Vodafone will be issued 783.1 million new shares equivalent to its 42 per cent shareholding in Indus Towers. "Following completion, the Board of the combined company will comprise of 11 directors, of whom three will be appointed by each of Bharti Airtel and Vodafone, one will be appointed by KKR/Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and four (including the Chairman) will be independent. (IANS)