Mergers & Acquisitions have played a pivtoal role in moulding the Indian Telecommunications industry over the years. The change in regulations and policies, the high debt levels of the companies have changed the course of the potential telcos that have lead to mergers and acquisitions.
In the year 2017, facing intense competition from cash-rich Reliance Jio, the Aditya Birla Group and British telecom giant Vodafone Plc merged their Indian wireless telephony businesses, creating the largest telecom operator in the country. The entity formed by the merger of Vodafone and Idea would have 1850 MHz spectrum. The merged Vodafone-Idea entity will become the biggest telecom operator in India, both by subscribers and revenue. The combined company would have 35% customer market share, and 41% revenue market share. The resulting entity will have almost 400 million customers. The merger is a stock deal - it is not a cash buyout. Vodafone will hold 45.1% of the newly formed entity - Idea is paying Rs. 3,874 crores ($592.15 million) to Vodafone for 4.9% of the company. Idea will have 26%, with the rest being held by the public. Idea will also have the sole authority of appointing the Chairman.#1. Idea Cellular - Escotel
In the year 2004, Idea Cellular bought out Escorts Ltd's mobile business, Escotel Mobile Ltd and Escorts Telecom Ltd, for around Rs 300-350 crore (Rs 3-3.50 billion) in an all cash deal. The package included six telecom circles and more than 825,000 subscribers, which catapulted Idea Cellular's subscriber base to over 3 million across 11 circles from 2.24 million in five circles. With this move, Idea Cellular expanded it's services to Kerala, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh (West), Uttar Pradesh (East), Rajasthan, and Himachal Pradesh.#2. Vodafone - (Hutchison-Essar)
In the year 2007, Britain’s Vodafone bought 67% stake in Hutchison Essar (HEL) at an enterprise value of $19.3 billion (Rs 86,000 crore), paving the way for the biggest-ever acquisition in India.#3. Idea Cellular - Spice
In the year 2008, Idea Cellular bought Spice Telecom for Rs. 2,716 crore. The market share of Idea cellular soared to 11.1% and fetched the more important crucial spectrum on 900 Mhz band. With this acquisition, the telecom giant entered the wireless markets of Punjab and Karnataka.#4. Reliance Communications - MTS
In the year 2016, Rcom acquired Russian conglomerate Sistema's MTS India in an all stock deal. This deal gave Rcom access to spectrum in the 800/850 MHz band which is suitable for 4G services. It also extended the validity of RCom’s spectrum in 800/ 850 MHz band in 8 important circles by a period of 12 years from 2021 till 2033 (Delhi, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Kolkata, UP (West) and West Bengal.#5. Reliance Communications - Aircel
In the year 2016, Rcom merged with smaller rival Aircel. This deal signalled a rise of new rebranded merged company with an asset base of over Rs 65,000 crore and net worth of Rs 35,000 crore ($5.2 billion). RCom and Maxis Communications Berhad (MCB) of Malaysia, which owns Aircel continue to hold 50 per cent each in the merged entity with equal representation on the board and committees.#6. Reliance Industries - Infotel Telecom
In the year 2010, Reliance Industries acquired Infotel Broadband, which later on went to create the glorious Reliance Jio Infocomm that launched it's 4G VoLTE services across the country for free. Reliance Industries bought 95% stake in Infotel Broadband for Rs 4,800 crore. It is important to note that this deal sealed acquisition with Infotel Broadband Services which is the only firm to win broadband spectrum in all 22 zones in India.