RCOM and Aircel merge their wireless operations

Reliance Communications (RCOM) has signed a definitive agreement to merge its wireless operations with Aircel’s wireless business. RCOM and Maxis Communications Berhad (the Malaysia-based parent company of Aircel) will each hold a 50 per cent stake in the merged entity, with equal representation on the board of directors and all committees. The merged entity is expected to have an asset base of over Rs 650 billion and a net worth of Rs 350 billion. Upon completion of the transaction in 2017, RCOM will transfer Rs 200 billion of its debt to the new entity – Rs 140 billion of long-term debt and Rs 60 billion of instalments payable to the Department of Telecommunications over 10 years. Aircel will also transfer Rs 140 billion of its debt to the entity. RCOM’s tower and optic fibre portfolios and its undersea cable arm Global Cloud XChange are out of the ambit of the merger.