The talks were on for past few days, and finally the news is out – Bharti Airtel has acquired 49% stake in Qualcomm AP’s India BWA entities.
The main purpose of this acquisition is for the BWA licenses Qualcomm holds in Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala. This partnership will enable Airtel to roll out and offer 4G data services to four telecoms zones, including the lucrative Delhi and Mumbai, where it does not have its own 4G services. The company recently launched commercial 4G networks in Kolkata and Bangalore.
According to the press press release Under the partnership agreement, Bharti has made an investment of USD 165 million (approx. Rs. 908 crore) to acquire 49 % interest in Qualcomm AP’s India entities – partly by way of acquisition of 26 percent equity interest equally held by Global Holding Corporation Pvt. Ltd. and Tulip Telecom Ltd., and the balance by way of subscription of fresh equity in those entities. The agreement contemplates that once commercial operations are launched, subject to certain terms and conditions, Bharti would assume complete ownership and financial responsibility for the BWA entities by the end of 2014.
Before the news came out, most of analysts were expecting Bharti to buy Qualcomm’s asset for close to 5000 crores, however, acquisition of nearly half the stake for about 900 crores is surely a good deal from Bharti’s perspective. Having said that, Bharti may eventually spend nearly the same amount for remaining stake in Qualcomm’s BWA entities.
With this acquisition, Bharti now has a near pan-India coverage for offering 4G & 3G services combined.
Bharti Airtel’s BWA / 4G footprint:
Bharti Airtel’s 3G footprint:
- Andhra Pradesh
- Tamil Nadu
- Uttar Pradesh (West)
- West Bengal
- Himachal Pradesh
- North East
- Jammu & Kashmir