India’s Bharti Infratel, Indus Towers to merge

Bharti Airtel, which owns a 53.5 percent stake in Bharti Infratel, said it will consider a strategic stake sale in Indus Towers post-merger. (Reuters)
Updated 25 April 2018
0

India’s Bharti Infratel, Indus Towers to merge

BENGALURU: India’s Bharti Airtel approved the merger of Indus Towers Ltd. with its mobile masts operator unit Bharti Infrate, creating the largest tower company outside China by number of towers, the carrier said on Wednesday.
Shareholders of Indus Towers will get 1,565 shares of Bharti Infratel for every share held, valuing Indus Towers at an enterprise value of 715 billion rupees ($10.74 billion).
Vodafone Group, Idea Group and Providence Equity Partners have agreed to merge their holdings in Indus Towers into Bharti Infratel, creating a combined company that will be owned by Bharti Airtel and Vodafone with equal rights, the companies said in a joint statement.
Pro forma for the transaction, the combined company’s equity value will be 965 billion rupees ($14.50 billion), they said.
The deal is expected to close before March 31, 2019 and the combined company, which is to be named as Indus Towers Ltd, will be listed on Indian stock exchanges.
Bharti Airtel, which owns a 53.5 percent stake in Bharti Infratel, said it will consider a strategic stake sale in Indus Towers post-merger.
The board of the combined company will have 11 members — three each from Bharti Airtel and Vodafone, one from KKR or Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and four independents (including the chairman), the companies said.


‘There is no free lunch’, Macron tells tech giant CEOs

Updated 24 May 2018
0

‘There is no free lunch’, Macron tells tech giant CEOs

PARIS: President Emmanuel Macron told executives from the world’s biggest technology firms on Wednesday that he wanted innovation to be a driving force for the French economy, but also that they needed to contribute more to society.
The French leader paints himself as a champion of France’s plugged-in youth and wants to transform France into a “startup nation” that draws higher investments into technology and artificial intelligence. He is also spearheading efforts in Europe to have digital companies pay more tax at source.
Macron’s guest-list included Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, IBM’s Virginia Rometty, Intel Corp’s Brian Krzanich, Microsoft Corp’s Satya Nadella and a raft of other big hitters in the corporate world.
“There is no free lunch,” he quipped in English to the executives lined up on the steps of the Elysee Palace for a photo call at a lunch meeting. “So I want from you some commitments.”
As Macron spoke, IBM announced it would hire about 1,400 people in France over the next two years in the fields of blockchain and cloud computing.
Ride-hailing app Uber also said it planned to offer all its European drivers an upgraded version of the health insurance it already provides in France in a drive to attract independent workers and fend off criticism over their treatment.
Macron will hold one-on-one talks with Mark Zuckerberg on tax and data privacy on the sidelines of the Tech For Good summit — a day after the Facebook chief executive faced questions from European Union lawmakers.
Those talks will be frank, an Elysee official said ahead of the meeting. While Macron will be pitching France Inc, he will also push his case for a European Union tax on digital turnover and a tougher fight against both data piracy and fake news.
Zuckerberg on Tuesday sailed through a grilling from EU lawmakers about the social network’s data policies, apologizing to leaders of the European Parliament for a massive data leak but dodging numerous questions.
Macron told the executives that business needed to do more in tackling issues such as inequality and climate change.
“It is not possible just to have free riding on one side, when you make a good business,” the French president said.