Airtel completes its acquisition of Tikona Digital Networks (India)
Bharti Airtel has completed the acquisition of fixed-wireless broadband provider Tikona Digital Networks, even as the transfer of spectrum rights in Rajasthan are awaiting approval from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). Earlier, in March 2017, Airtel had agreed to buy Tikona’s 4G business for around Rs 250 million to acquire the latter’s spectrum in the 2300 MHz band in five circles: Gujarat, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh (East) and Uttar Pradesh (West). Prior to the conclusion of the deal, Tikona Digital Networks transferred its non-4G business and spectrum to Tikona Infinet Limited through which it used to serve its corporate and enterprise segments.
RIL in talks to acquire DEN Networks
Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) is reportedly in talks to acquire multi-system operator (MSO) DEN Networks for foraying into the cable and home broadband space. As per reports, DEN is looking at a valuation of Rs 20 billion to Rs 22 billion. RIL has been planning to launch home broadband and cable TV services, including quad-play services such as broadband internet and wireline telephony, for a long time. RIL already has an MSO licence to launch these services. Meanwhile, DEN has received a go-ahead from the National Company Law Tribunal for demerging its broadband business into a fully owned subsidiary unit, Skynet Cable Network. The demerger will allow DEN to focus on its broadband business and expand its service reach across the country.
Paytm Payments Bank approves Rs 600 million rights issue
The board of Paytm Payments Bank has approved a Rs 600 million rights issue for its existing shareholders. As per the board’s decision, 60 million equity shares with a face value of Rs 10 will be issued on a rights basis to investors. Of these, 30.6 million shares will be issued to Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of Paytm’s parent company, One97 Communications Limited. Meanwhile, One97 Communications Limited will be given 23.4 million shares while the remaining 6 million shares will be issued to One97 Communications India.
AIS to buy a majority stake in CS Loxinfo (Thailand)
Thailand-based Advanced Info Service (AIS) is planning to buy a 56 per cent stake in the country’s internet service provider, CS Loxinfo for $78.57 million. Of this stake, AIS plans to acquire 42 per cent from DTV Service, a subsidiary of Thaicom, and the remaining 14 per cent from Singapore’s SingTel. AIS and Thaicom are subsidiaries of InTouch Holdings, and the acquisition would help consolidate the group’s internet services under AIS. The acquisition will help AIS in advancing its internet broadband coverage across Thailand.
Onatel secures $30 million loan from Huawei to fund network modernisation (Burundi)
The Government of Burundi has secured a $30 million loan from Huawei to modernise the network of ONAMOB, the mobile arm of the state-owned incumbent operator, Office National des Telecommunications (Onatel). The loan is repayable over a 10-year period. The investment will enable ONAMOB to enhance its service coverage and offer better products and services to compete with operators in the private sector. Onatel had entered Burundi’s mobile market in 2005 by launching a GSM network in Bujumbura through its mobile arm ONAMOB.
Vodafone Group concludes placement of Vodacom shares (South Africa)
The Vodafone Group has completed the placement of its ordinary shares in South Africa’s Vodacom Group to institutional investors by way of an accelerated book-building process. As per the deal, Vodafone International Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of the group, had sold an aggregate 90 million ordinary shares in Vodacom at a price of $12.8 per ordinary share. Following the placement, the Vodafone Group’s stake in Vodacom has come down from 65 per cent to 64.5 per cent.
Dimension data offloads its wireless and fibre businesses to Vulatel
Dimension Data has decided to offload its wireless and fibre businesses to Vulatel for an undisclosed sum. The move comes in the wake of the management’s belief that the two businesses are not core to its value proposition. The company wants to explore new opportunities in areas such as data analytics, internet of things, hybrid IT, the digital workplace and cybersecurity. As a part of the deal, about 150 employees will be moved to Vulatel.
Omantel to increase its stake in Zain (Kuwait)
Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel) has signed a non-binding letter of intent to acquire a 12 per cent stake in Zain (Mobile Telecommunications) from Al Khair and its subsidiaries and affiliates. The stake is reportedly valued at $960 million. Earlier, in August 2017, Omantel won a bid to acquire 425.7 million treasury shares of the Zain Group’s fully paid in and issued share capital at an offer price of $1.99 per share. These amounted to 9.84 per cent stake in Zain. All the acquired treasury shares have now been converted into common stock. If the current acquisition goes through, Omantel will hold around 22 per cent stake in Zain.