Bharti Infratel defers board meet to decide on merger with Indus Towers

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Telecom infrastructure company Bharti Infratel said its board meeting, which was slated to be held on Thursday to take final call on merger with Indus Towers, has been rescheduled.

“Certain inputs that would have been required by the board for it to deliberate and take a final decision have been delayed given the current environment,” the company said in a regulatory filing.

Accordingly, the said board meeting has been “rescheduled for a later date but definitely on or before the current long stop date of June 24, 2020”, it added.

The board of the company was slated to meet on Thursday to take a final decision on the scheme of arrangement between Indus Towers and Bharti Infratel.

On June 4, while intimating about the board meet, the company had said there can be no certainty on whether the merger will get completed or not, as each party had retained the right to terminate and withdraw the scheme at any point.

Bharti Infratel holds 42 per cent stake in the mobile tower firm Indus Towers, which is a three-way joint venture with British telecom giant Vodafone and Vodafone Idea having 42 per cent and 11.15 per cent stake, respectively.

At the company’s fourth quarter earnings call in April, Akhil Gupta, Chairman of Bharti Infratel, had admitted that the impending merger has been an overhang on the company but indicated that the matter will be decided one way or the other in the next two months.

“With a fair degree of confidence, I can say that this would be last final extension and within this two month period… this thing will be decided one way or the other. Hopefully, we should be able to complete the merger,” he had said.

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