Bharti Airtel signs definitive agreement with Dialog, Axiata Group to merge Sri Lanka operations

Dialog will acquire 100% of the issued shares in Airtel Lanka, in consideration of which Dialog will issue to Bharti Airtel, ordinary voting shares which will amount to 10.355% of the total issued shares of Dialog by way of a share swap.
Bharti Airtel.
Bharti Airtel. (File Photo)

NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel announced on Thursday the signing of a definitive agreement with Dialog Axiata PLC (Dialog) and Axiata Group Berhad (Axiata) to combine their operations in Sri Lanka.

As per the agreement, Dialog will acquire 100% of the issued shares in Airtel Lanka, in consideration of which Dialog will issue to Bharti Airtel, ordinary voting shares which will amount to 10.355% of the total issued shares of Dialog by way of a share swap.

Bharti Airtel, in an exchange filing, said the transaction is subject to the approval of Dialog's shareholders and is pending the completion of specific conditions outlined in the Share Sale Agreement, including clearance from the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and completion of other applicable legal, corporate and regulatory compliance procedures.

"We are happy to merge our Sri Lanka operations with Dialog. Given the scale and unique propositions they offer, we are certain that our customers will continue to enjoy cutting-edge services on a seamless network," said Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO of Bharti Airtel.

Vivek Sood, Group CEO and Managing Director of Axiata Group Berhad, stated that the merger between Dialog and Airtel Lanka is aligned with Axiata’s strategy of market consolidation and resilience.

"The merger will create value for shareholders of Dialog Axiata PLC and Axiata Group through achievable synergies. We have the utmost respect for Airtel Lanka and its employees and look forward to working together as we integrate the two companies," said Sood.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) has granted its approval for the proposed merger, underscoring its vision to advance the adoption of telecommunications services across Sri Lanka.

This consolidation will enable the merged entity to garner economies of scale, reduce duplication of infrastructure, achieve synergies in technology and capital expenditure, leading to enhanced high-speed broadband connectivity, voice, and value-added services, cost savings, and operational efficiencies.

Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya, CEO Telecommunications Business and Group Executive Director of Axiata, believes that this merger brings together the strengths of two leading telco groups and bodes well for the growth and sustainability of Sri Lanka’s flagship telecom sector.

"We look forward to the new frontiers in customer experience and innovation the company will deliver to Sri Lankan consumers and enterprises," said Wijayasuriya.

"It is a privilege to welcome the team at Airtel Lanka to the Dialog family, and together we take a significant step forward in our commitment to delivering superior telecommunications services in Sri Lanka," remarked Supun Weerasinghe, Director / Group Chief Executive Officer of Dialog Axiata PLC."

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