Wednesday, 4 December 2013

EGoM Approves M&A Norms For Telecom Sector

The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on Telecom, on Tuesday, approved the ‘mergers and acquisitions’ (M&A) guidelines, besides clearing the sale of over 400 MHz of 2G spectrum (1800 MHz band), a move that would help further growth and consolidation of the cellular phone market in the country.

At its meeting, the EGoM, headed by Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, also approved payment of market rates for spectrum above 4.4 MHz allotted to the acquired entity.
"EGoM has approved M&A guidelines, which will now go for the approval of the Cabinet," the source said, adding that legal opinion will be taken if M&A amounts to sale of equity.

The M&A guidelines are expected to pave the way for consolidation in the telecom sector where there are 12 mobile service providers, including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, BSNL, Tata Teleservices and Aircel.

"The M&A rules have been approved," Communications Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters after a meeting of the empowered group of ministers, headed by finance minister P Chidambaram. The Cabinet is expected to meet shortly to ratify the changed rules.

The government in the Budget has provisioned about Rs 41,000 crore from spectrum revenue, which included upfront money from auction and various fees levied on airwaves used for commercial mobile communications.

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