3 days agoBy: Nirmal Yadav | Newsline | Follow: Facebook | Twitter @nirmalyadav | Tweet: @nytimes The Reliant Jio telecom group on Wednesday signed a new $1.6 billion ($1.5 billion) deal to buy telenor India’s biggest telco TEN, valued at $2.8 billion, in a deal that will see it become the second-largest telecom operator in India after Reliance Communications.
The deal, which is likely to be completed in the coming months, also includes a joint venture in the business that includes a new satellite-based infrastructure.
The acquisition of Telenora is expected to help Reliance expand its telecom portfolio, and could also help the telco gain access to additional spectrum that is required to compete with the likes of Vodafone India, which already has a strong presence in India’s telecom space.
The deal is likely in line with plans to acquire spectrum that would allow Reliance to compete on an even playing field with the largest telecom operators in the country, which have more spectrum and have more money to spend.
As part of the deal, Reliance will acquire Telenoran for $2 billion and the joint venture will be worth $1 billion, while the joint ventures is worth $800 million, the company said in a statement.
“The acquisition will add further value to our telecom portfolio.
This will enable us to compete head-to-head with the leading operators in India and in the world.
We are confident that we will be able to leverage this expertise and capabilities to further our business goals,” Reliance said.”
With this acquisition, we will leverage our strong expertise in spectrum acquisition and will be the first company in the market to have both a Telenorean spectrum and a joint-venture spectrum.”
The two companies will be working together to improve the telecom infrastructure, as well as build out a joint business.
“We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with Reliance as we continue to expand our infrastructure and our business in India,” Telenone said in the statement.
“This acquisition will help us continue to invest in the telecom business in an efficient and competitive manner.”
The telecom giant’s acquisition of TEN comes as it faces competition from India’s rivals such as Reliance Communication and RelianceJio.
The two firms have long been battling over the market share and profitability of both of their networks, with both Telenors having said they will try to offer lower prices and better services.
The new deal will add to the competition between the two companies, which currently have one of the largest market share shares in India, but also a larger and larger footprint in the Indian market.
Telenora’s network, which includes voice, video and broadband services, is based on Telenore networks and offers more than 100,000 voice customers in India.
TEN is owned by Reliance and offers services such as internet, mobile phone, and video calling.
Telenor has more than 90 million subscribers in India with a market share of over 8% and is owned and operated by the state of Telangana.
Reliance has around 20 million subscribers.
(With inputs from Reuters)