The merger deal between Dialog Axiata and the Sri Lankan unit of Indian-backed Bharti Airtel will go through this year, according to local paper the Sunday Times, citing Dialog Axiata Chairman Datuk Azzat Kamaludin. Delivering a keynote speech at ‘Sri Lanka Investment and Business Conclave 2016’, Datuk Azzat reportedly said that Dialog is keen to expand its spectrum and that Airtel ‘fitted the bill’, noting that the share swap will go through this year.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in December 2015 Sri Lanka’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, Dialog Axiata, was believed to be in negotiations to buy fifth-placed player Bharti Airtel Lanka for USD100 million. Later that month, however, Dialog denied it was entering any merger or acquisition deal with Bharti Airtel by saying: ‘The company confirms that it has not entered into an agreement with any party with respect to a merger or acquisition’. The cellco added that it would make a disclosure regarding the matter if it reaches ‘material certainty’.