Airtel, Jio in running for Aircel assets - Mobile World Live

Airtel, Jio in running for Aircel assets

21 SEP 2018

A number of companies, including Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio, have bid to purchase the assets of troubled operator Aircel, although lenders are keen to sell to just one party.

“The bids have been received. But we are thinking of the possibility of a lump sum sale, that is, give all of the assets to a single party. This should get better value for the assets,” a source told Livemint, adding the company is hoping to make around INR250 billion ($3.5 billion) from the sale.

Aircel filed for bankruptcy in March after failing to reach an agreement with creditors on repayment of its growing debt. The bulk of its INR500 billion liability is owed to financial lenders.

Bids for the assets closed earlier this week. Livemint’s sources told it two investment companies and telecoms equipment manufacturer Sterlite Technologies were among the other bidders, though the latter subsequently issued a statement denying “having participated in any such bid” in response to the report.

Aircel holds 65MHz of spectrum in the 2100MHz band; 103MHz in the 1800MHz band; and 21MHz in the 900MHz band. Other assets include some fibre networks and mobile towers, though details around these are not clear.

Airtel is the only bidder for the spectrum assets, while Jio is the sole bidder for the towers and is also interested in some fibre assets.

A decision on the bids is expected in October.

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Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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