Telenor in talks with Aircel and RCom over Indian merger

By:
James Pearce
Published on:

Aircel and RCom have agreed to merge their mobile units, but now Norwegian operator Telenor is trying to get in on the act, according to reports

Telenor Group has contacted Aircel and Reliance Communications over a possible tie-up in India, as rumours of consolidation in the market continues to grow.

The Economic Times claims Telenor is looking to enter a share swap agreement to combine its Indian business and spectrum with Aircel and RCom, whore are set to merge later this year to become the third biggest mobile provider in the country.

The ET cites executives aware of the matter, who said Norwegian operator Telenor would take a 10% stake in the combined entity, with RCom and Maxis Communications, which owns Aircel, each taking a 45% stake.

Discussions reportedly began before Christmas, but doubts have already been cast over the RCom/Aircel merger due to legal issues which the latter is facing in India’s Supreme Court.

The Court has threatened to revoke Aircel’s license should Malaysian billionaire Anada Krishnan, who controls Maxis, fail to appear in a corruption case currently underway in a lower court.

Telenor has also held talks with Bharti Airtel, according to the reports, with the latter looking to acquire Telenor’s Indian business.

The reports come as Vodafone confirmed it is locked in talks with Idea Cellular about a potential merger of their Indian assets.