Malaysian telecoms group Axiata has announced that the High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh has approved the ‘Scheme of Amalgamation’ relating to the merger of its Robi unit with local rival Airtel Bangladesh. The approval was rubber-stamped on 31 August 2016, with the High Court judges setting a merger fee equivalent to approximately USD12.8 million, which is payable to the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC).
Any spectrum assigned to Robi and to Airtel, respectively, prior to the merger, will continue to be used by the new entity, MergeCo, for the time period stipulated in the original licence. Meanwhile, the difference between the price paid by Robi for spectrum in 2011 and the price paid by Airtel for spectrum in 2005 – equivalent to approximately USD65.0 million – shall be payable to the BTRC. In the event that Robi decides to return any spectrum to the BTRC, the value of the returned spectrum has been fixed at USD1.3 million per MHz per year.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, following the completion of the merger Axiata will take a 68.7% controlling stake in the combined entity, while Bharti Airtel will hold 25.0%, and the remaining 6.3% will be held by Robi’s existing minority shareholder NTT DOCOMO of Japan. Currently, Axiata holds a 91.59% stake in Robi and NTT DOCOMO owns the remaining 8.41% interest.