Telenor group today sold its Indian Operations to Bharti Airtel Limited (Airtel), whereby Airtel will take full ownership of Telenor India.
Decision is taken at a time when Telenor group is facing increased financial pressure. It showed just 1% increase in revenues for all the markets where it operates.
As the new owner, Airtel will take over Telenor India’s spectrum, licenses and operations, including its employees and customer base of 44 million.
Sigve Brekke, Chief Executive Officer of Telenor Group, while commenting on the transaction said that selling business in India is in the best interest of our customers, employees and Telenor Group.
“Finding a long term solution to our India business has been a priority for us, and we are pleased with our agreement with Airtel”, he added.
According to the agreement, Airtel and Telenor India will merge and Airtel will take over Telenor India as soon as all necessary approvals are received. As part of the agreement, Airtel will take over outstanding spectrum payments and other operational contracts, including tower lease.
The transaction is expected to close within 12 months. With effect from first quarter 2017, Telenor India will be treated as an asset held for sale and discontinued operations in Telenor Group’s financial reporting.
Telenor had entered into India in 2008 but struggled in gaining momentum in a tough Indian market. As of fourth quarter 2016, the remaining value of tangible and intangible assets in Telenor India amounted to USD 0.04 billion.