RCom ‘to sign merger deal with Aircel’

Alan Burkitt-Gray
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India’s Reliance Communications is days away from agreeing terms for a merger with Aircel

Indian operators Reliance Communications (RCom) and Aircel are likely to sign a merger agreement in the next few days, according to reports from the country.

The merged operator would be the third largest in India, with 196 million customers.

Newspaper reports in India say that the companies have finalised the term sheet and are likely to sign a definitive agreement in the first week of September.

RCom is no longer related to Reliance Industries, which is soft launching a nationwide 4G network, Reliance Jio Infocomm. The two companies are controlled by sons of the same founder. Aircel is 74% owned by Maxis Communications of Malaysia.

Once the terms of the merger are agreed, it will take a further four to six months to seek regulatory approval and complete the deal.

RCom had earlier announced a plan to merge with MTS India, which is controlled by Russian industrial group Sistema, with investment from the Russian government. But negotiations on that deal have paused because of spectrum negotiations with the Department of Telecommunications.