Deadline for Indus Towers deal extended by Bharti

On Wednesday, the Bharti Infratel board extended the long stop date for its pending merger with Indus Towers to 31 August. This is the sixth such extension for of the deadline for closing the deal.

Bharti Infratel said in an exchange filing, “As the conditions precedent to be fulfilled for the scheme to become effective cannot be completed by the extended long stop date of 24 June 2020, the board of directors have further extended the long stop date to 31 August 2020, subject to agreement on closing adjustments and other conditions precedent for closing, with each party retaining the right to terminate and withdraw the scheme.”

Following the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) verdict of the Supreme Court, the uncertainty around Vodafone’s financial position has left the Indus deal hanging in a limbo. Some of the factors that are likely to be affecting the completion of the merger are the pandemic and resultant change in the telecom industry.

Bharti Airtel holds 53.5% shares of Bharti Infratel, 10% is held by KKR/CPPIB and the rest 35.5% is public. The UK based Vodafone Group Plc. holds 42% in Indus Towers, 11.2% being held by Vodafone Idea and 4.8% by Providence.

The deal was signed in April 2018 and is expected to create one of the biggest telecom tower companies across the globe.

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