According to industry sources, the government has initiated the process of delisting Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) in a bid to pave way for a merger with Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL). The entire merger process is expected to take up to two years. BSNL has appointed Deloitte as a consultant for the process. The proposed plan, as per report, includes the merger of operational business of MTNL with BSNL, i.e., MTNL’s telecom business spanning wireline, wireless, and enterprise business. MTNL first listed its American depository shares (ADSs) in the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in 2001 that were later taken down, and consequently, listed on OTCQX International Market in 2013.
Shares of MTNL will also be delisted from India’s stock exchanges, with the government acquiring 90 per cent of the shares of the telco. As per the proposed merger plan, MTNL will be divided into three parts – MTNL operations including staff and operational assets; other assets and liabilities including the spectrum holding of the telco; and the operations of Mahanagar Telephone Mauritius Limited (MTML), a profitable entity as of today.
BSNL will take over staff and operational assets, and operations of MTNL Mauritius, whereas MTNL will continue to hold other assets and liabilities including the spectrum. That said, BSNL will not take over MTNL’s spectrum neither will its liabilities be transferred to BSNL.