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RCOM, SSTL merger gets a nod from the BSE & NSE

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Reliance Communications (RCOM) has received permission (pdf) for its merger with Sistema Shyam Teleservices Limited (SSTL), which operates as MTS in India, from the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). RCOM mentions that the companies will file applications with the Bombay High Court and Rajasthan High Court for the approval of the scheme.

The merger was first announced in November, under which MTS would hold 10% equity stake in Reliance Communications. With this, the new entity will acquire 9 million of MTS’ customers and 800 / 850 MHz band spectrum. At the time, the company said that this would extend the validity of RCOM’s spectrum in 800 / 850 MHz band in 8 important circles by a period of 12 years from 2021 till 2033.

Gurdeep Singh, CEO of consumer business of Reliance Communications had said in an analysts’ call last August that the company would not be taking on any of MTS’ liabilities through the stock swap. “We do not take on any liabilities whatsoever, but we take on the assets, we take the revenue and the customers and we also take the spectrum with us, which has got a residual life of little over 18 years, and it’s a liberalized spectrum,” Singh added.

The closing of the transaction is expected in the second quarter of 2016 subject to corporate, regulatory and other approvals.

RCOM mobile internet connections: RCOM reported 37.2 million mobile Internet connections for the quarter ended September 30th 2015 (Q2FY16), up 5.08% from 35.4 million mobile Internet connections in the previous quarter, and 25.25% from the same quarter last year. RCOM’s 3G connection base stood at 19.1 million and accounts for 51.34% of all data connections. 3G connections were up 6.70% quarter-on-quarter and up 26.49% year-on-year.  The 2G connection base also increased to 18.1 million, from 17.5 million in the previous quarter.

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Other developments:

– RCOM entered into a partnership with Internet of Things platform provider Jasper, for providing enterprises with a platform to launch their IoT services.

– RCOM also announced that it brought on board one million Indians to experience the Internet via Facebook’s zero rating service Internet.org.

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