Reliance Communications in talks with Maxis to buy Aircel 

Aircel India
Telecom network operator Reliance Communications has initiated talks with Maxis to buy relatively smaller rival Aircel in order to combine their wireless business.

If Reliance Communications could add Aircel to its network, this will be the second acquisition in the last six months for Anil Ambani. Reliance Communications earlier acquired MTS India from Russian business group Sistema and its Indian promoters by offering 10 percent stake.

“A pact for 90-day exclusive talks has been initiated with Aircel’s majority owner, Malaysia’s Maxis Communications, and Sindya Securities and Investments for the potential merger,” said RCOM in a statement.

The statement issued on Tuesday said that potential combination will exclude towers and optical fiber infrastructure of Reliance Communications. Reliance Communications is in the process of selling its towers and optical fiber infrastructure. Reliance Communications is selling towers and optic fiber infrastructure in order to reduce debt. The telecom network operator on Monday sold flats in New Mumbai for Rs 330 crore.

Aircel has limited presence in states:

State Towns Villages Wireless users
Andhra Pradesh 177 707 2773130
Assam 125 12519 4676910
Bihar 229 11149 6767721
Gujarat 77 383 17063
Haryana 12 107 3092
Himachal Pradesh 346 5599 1038137
Jammu and Kashmir 77 5919 2543768
Karnataka 230 2517 2904715
Kerala 8 0 130162
Maharashtra 140 2156 2354961
Madhya Pradesh 34 0 20694
North East 107 3293 2969360
Orissa 127 16321 4376787
Punjab 31 398 1014605
Rajasthan 70 1025 6311196
Tamil Nadu 3982 14305 21155024
UP East 305 11603 6690894
UP West 73 769 472183
West Bengal 210 16077 5148139
Delhi 0 0 5892684
Mumbai 0 0 2777718
Kolkata 0 0 3956840

If the deal happens, Reliance Communications will have over 150 million customers in India and it will hold close to 20 percent of the total spectrum – the highest in country — in virtually every band currently available to private telecom players.

As per the telecom deal being negotiated, Reliance Communications shareholders will receive free listed shares in the combined wireless entity. This apart, a debt of Rs 10,000 crore will be transferred to the separate listed combined entity, IANS reported.

According to TRAI data for September 2015, Reliance Communications has a mobile market share of 11.08 percent, MTS India 0.84 percent and Aircel 8.43 percent.

Bharti Airtel with 23.06 percent, Vodafone India with 18.88 percent and Idea Cellular with 16.71 percent are the top three telecom network operators.

Reliance Communications has 110.38 million subscribers. The number of Aircel subscriber is 83.99 million.

Aircel does not have wireless presence in Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai metros. Aircel has 3G spectrum in 13 circles, BWA spectrum for 4G LTE network in 8 circles.

Baburajan K
[email protected]