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What’s cooking with Bharti Airtel-Loop deal?

There seems to be some delays in getting the valuations and finer details right for the Bharti Airtel-Loop agreement, going by the latest statement from Bharti Airtel.
The company said it has agreed for a strategic network tie-up with Loop, which it expects later to lead to an integration of the two operations. It also says Loop subscribers are going to be a part of Airtel’s network. It is not clear whether that will be achieved through mobile number portability or an actual acquisition.
Loop’s license will expire in November this year, and it has to find a buyer before that. Airtel is the most favored candidate, along with Vodafone.
A merchant banker involved in the deal suggested a price of Rs 700 crore.

The full statement from Bharti Airtel is below:

Bharti Airtel and Loop Mobile today announced a strategic agreement for their operations in Mumbai (India) service area. The proposed association will undergo seamless integration once definitive agreements are signed, and is subject to regulatory and statutory approvals.
Under the agreement, Loop Mobile’s 3 million subscribers in Mumbai will join Airtel’s over 4 million subscribers, creating an unmatched mobile network in Mumbai.
The proposed transaction will bring together Loop Mobile’s 2G/EDGE enabled network supported by 2,500 plus cell sites, and Airtel’s 2G and 3G network supported by over 4000 cell sites across Mumbai. It will also offer subscribers the widest exclusive retail reach with 220 outlets that will enable best-in-class customer service.
The agreement will ensure continuity of quality services to Loop Mobile’s subscribers, while offering them the added benefits of Airtel’s innovative product portfolio, and access to superior services, innovative products like 3G, 4G, Airtel Money, VAS and domestic/international roaming facilities.
Loop Mobile subscribers will become part of Airtel’s global network that serves over 289 million customers in 20 countries.

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