From quite some time we have been hearing about Telenor Group planning to exit from Indian market. Though Telenor Group CEO Sigve Brekke said that the operator aims to find a long-term solution for its India business as soon as possible.
But now after months of considerations, Telenor Group sold its Indian Operations to Bharti Airtel Limited (Airtel) today. The Airtel-Telenor deal is dependent on regulatory approvals. But both companies said it should be finalized within the next 12 months.
Telenor Says Goodbye to India as Airtel to Buy its Indian Operations
Airtel is India’s leading operator with almost 269 million subscribers, while Telenor will add another 44 million (and just under four percent marketshare) to that number.
“We believe today’s agreement 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”.
Telenor CEO Sigve Brekke revealed in a statement.
“The decision to exit India has not been taken lightly. After thorough consideration, it is our view that the significant investments needed to secure Telenor India’s future business on a standalone basis would not have given an acceptable level of return.”
Brekke further added.
While talking about the agreement Bharti Airtel Managing Director and CEO (India and South Asia) Gopal Vittal said,
“The agreement underlines our commitment to lead India’s digital revolution by offering world-class and affordable telecom services through a robust spectrum portfolio spread across multiple bands.”
Telenor, which is headquartered in Norway with a global presence, made its way to India in 2008. At present its services are available in six telecom circles in the country. Last year, it cleared six billion NOK ($720 million) in revenue with an operating cash flow of negative 0.4 billion NOK ($48 million).