Airtel prepays Rs 80.24 billion to clear high-cost deferred liabilities for spectrum acquired in 2015 (India)

Bharti Airtel has prepaid Rs 80.24 billion to the Department of Telecommunica­tio­ns (DoT) as part payment of deferred liabilities pertaining to the spectrum ac­quired in the 2015 auction. These ins­tall­ments had an interest rate of 10 per cent and have been prepaid by Airtel, le­ver­aging the lower-cost financing available to the company.

Jio Platforms’ subsidiary Radisys completes acquisition of Mimosa Networks

Jio Platforms has successfully acquired US-based Mimosa Networks, Inc. for $60 million via Radisys Corporation, its wholly owned subsidiary. Henceforth, Mimosa will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Radisys. As a result of the acquisition, Jio Platforms will be able to improve its 5G and broadband services by leveraging Mimosa’s point-to-point and point-to-multi-point products.

Airtel acquires an additional 20.6 per cent stake in Lavelle Networks

Airtel has acquired an additional 20.6 per cent stake in Lavelle Networks Private Limited. With this, the telco’s total ownership will increase to 45.6 per cent in the company. The acquisition, which will be undertaken in multiple tranches, has been made under Airtel’s Startup Accelerator Program to support early-stage Indian tech start-ups.

Vi fails to renew bank guarantees; seeks more time from government

Vodafone Idea Limited (Vi) has failed to renew some lapsed bank guarantees (BGs) and has requested more time from the go­v­ernment to replenish them. In a letter to the Controller General of Com­munica­tion Accounts at DoT, Vi stated that due to its weak financial position, it is not in a position to issue a replacement BGs of Rs 9.9 million and Rs 3.25 million as it re­quires a 100 per cent cash margin to be pro­vided to the banks. The telco further stated that it has been unable to renew ad­ditional BGs of undisclosed sums issued by Kotak Mahindra Bank due to continued financial constraints. Ko­tak’s BG exposure to Vi is under Rs 100 million.

Tata Communications to acquire remaining 41.9 per cent stake in Oasis Smart SIM

Tata Communications Limited has en­ter­ed in­to a share purchase agreement throu­gh Ta­ta Communications International Pte Limited (TCIPL), its Singapore-based subsidiary, to acquire the remaining 41.9 per ce­nt equity in Oasis Smart SIM Euro­pe SAS for $12 million. The company had acquired a majority stake (58.1 per cent) in Oasis in 2020. According to Tata Commu­nications, the transaction allows TCIPL to gain 100 per cent equity shareholding in Oasis Smart SIM, enabling it to accelerate and augment Tata Com­munications’ MOVE™ platform roadmap for global markets.

ATC records $29 million unrealised gain on Vi debentures in Q2 2023

The American Tower Corporation (ATC) has recognised an almost $29 million unrealised gain in the second quarter of calendar year 2023 on the optionally convertible debentures (OCDs) issued to it by Vi. In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, ATC stated that during the three months and six months ended June 30, 2023, the company recognised unrealised gains of $28.8 million and $13.1 million respectively for the Vi OCDs held as of June 2023. ATC noted that the fair value of Vi’s OCDs at issuance was about $116.5 million and that the significant input to the fair value is the Vi equity share price underlying the instruments, less a liquidity discount.

AXIAN Telecom to increase stake in Free Senegal to 80 per cent (Senegal)

AXIAN Telecom has signed an agreement to acquire a further 40 per cent equity interest in its joint venture in Free Senegal. Following the completion of the transaction, AXIAN will own an 80 per cent equity interest in Free, allowing it to control and financially consolidate its operations. The transaction remains subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by Senegalese authorities.

Airtel Uganda to offer 20 per cent stake through IPO (Uganda)

Airtel Uganda has anno­unced its plans to offer a 20 per cent stake in the company through an initial public offering (IPO) and a listing on the Uganda Securities Exchange. As per the operator, the offer will give preference to Ugandan in­vestors, with a listing to be carried out by December 16, 2023, in compliance wi­th the terms of its National Tele­co­mmu­nications Operator licence.

Ooredoo, Zain and TASC Towers to create independent multinational tower company (Qatar/Kuwait/UAE)

The Qatar-based Ooredoo Group, Kuwa­it-based Zain Group and UAE-based TASC Towers Holding Limited have en­ter­ed exclusive negotiations to combine approximately 30,000 of their telecom to­wer assets in Qatar, Kuwait, Algeria, Tu­nisia, Iraq and Jordan into a jointly owned independent tower company in a cash and share deal. As per the parties, the proposed partnership will become the largest tower company in the Middle East and No­rth Africa region. The consolidated com­­pany will continue to operate as an in­dependent and standalone entity, providing passive infrastructure as a service across the region.