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Merger with Tata unit can only benefit Singtel’s Bharti Airtel

PC Lee
PC Lee • 2 min read
Merger with Tata unit can only benefit Singtel’s Bharti Airtel
SINGAPORE (Oct 16): UOB KayHian is maintaining its “buy” on Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) with a target price of $4.53 given 14.8% owned Bharti Airtel will gain 44 million mobile subscribers and addition spectrum from its merger with Tata Tel
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SINGAPORE (Oct 16): UOB KayHian is maintaining its “buy” on Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) with a target price of $4.53 given 14.8% owned Bharti Airtel will gain 44 million mobile subscribers and addition spectrum from its merger with Tata Teleservices’ consumer mobile business.

Bharti Airtel announced on Friday it has agreed to merge with Tata Teleservices’ CMB. Tata Teleservices’ 44 million consumer mobile subscribers will add to Bharti Airtel’s subscriber base of 307 million, bringing Bharti Airtel’s total mobile subscribers to 351 million.


See: India’s Tata to merge consumer mobile businesses under Bharti Airtel

The merger is also conducted on a debt-free and cash-free basis. Tata Teleservices would settle all past liabilities and dues. Bharti Airtel will pay only a small portion of Tata Teleservices’ total unpaid spectrum liabilities -- reportedly INR20 billion or $417.5 million -- to the Department of Telecommunications.

Bharti Airtel would gain 178.5MHz of additional spectrum in the 850MHz, 1800MHz and 2100MHz frequency bands across 19 circles as well as indefeasible rights to use (IRU) Tata’s fibre backhaul network.

“Bharti Airtel would absorb Tata Teleservices’ CMB across 19 circles, representing the bulk of India’s population base. The merger enables Bharti Airtel to close the gap with Vodafone-Idea, which has 391 million subscribers,” says analyst Jonathan Koh on a Monday report.

With Tata Teleservices’ CMB, Bharti Airtel’s revenue market share would also increase from 35% to 40%.

Shares in Singtel are trading at $3.70 or 15.1 times FY17 earnings.

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