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M&A

After Telenor, Airtel Now Acquires Tikona For Rs 1600 Crore

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While Reliance Jio is busy blaming Bharti Airtel on multiple fronts, be on PoIs or over the ‘misleading’ ad of ‘fastest network’ in the country, the Sunil Mittal-led firm is steadily plugging its gaps to retain its supremacy in the Indian 4G market.The latest development on that front was the acquisition of Tikona today.

Airtel acquired Tikona’s 4G business for Rs 1600 crore in cash and debt and the said deal will be closed in two months time.

The services provider today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Tikona Digital Networks (“Tikona”) to acquire Tikona’s 4G Business including the Broadband Wireless Access (“BWA”) spectrum and 350 sites, in five telecom circles.

Airtel had acquired Telenor India exactly a month back, on 23 February.

Tikona currently has 20 MHz spectrum in the 2300 MHz band in Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West), Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh circles. Airtel plans to roll-out high speed 4G services on the newly acquired spectrum in the five circles immediately after the closure of the transaction.

As per the agreement, the acquisition of the 4G business in Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West) and Himachal Pradesh will be undertaken by Airtel, while in the Rajasthan circle, it will be accomplished through Airtel’s subsidiary Bharti Hexacom Limited. Post-acquisition, the combined spectrum holding of Airtel in these five circles will be within the spectrum caps prescribed by the Government.

The proposed acquisition will enable Airtel to fill BWA spectrum gaps in the 2300 MHz band in Rajasthan, UP (East) and UP (West), thereby securing a pan India footprint in the band. The deal will significantly bolster Airtel’s spectrum position in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, taking its overall BWA spectrum holding to 30 MHz each in these circles. Post completion of the deal, Airtel will have 30 MHz in the 2300 MHz band in 13 circles giving it tremendous advantage to handle the surging data demand.

“Airtel’s continued focus on strengthening its 4G capabilities across multiple spectrum bands will be complemented with the BWA spectrum acquisition from Tikona. We believe that combining our capacities in TD-LTE and FD-LTE will further bolster our network, and help us provide unmatched high-speed wireless broadband experience to our customers. We remain committed to our vision of leading India’s digital revolution by offering world-class and affordable telecom services through a robust spectrum portfolio spread across multiple bands,” said Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel.

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M&A

Vodafone Merges With Idea, Owns Lion’s Share

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Vodafone and Idea officially announced their merger on Monday. With this merger the the British telecom major will have 45.1% stake whereas the Aditya Birla Group will be having 26% and other Idea shareholders will own the remaining 28.9%.

In a seemingly complicated merger, the official statement says, the Aditya Birla Group can acquire up to another 9.5% stake from Vodafone to equalise the stakes with each other.

“If the Aditya Birla Group does not equalise its stake, Vodafone will reduce its holding in order to equalise its ownership with that of the Aditya Birla Group. Until equalisation is achieved, the additional shares held by Vodafone will be restricted and votes will be exercised jointly under the terms of the shareholders’ agreement,” the statement added.

The companies have not decided the new name of the combined entity but it said it will be decided soon.

On management structure, the statement said the Aditya Birla Group will have the sole right to appoint the Chairman and Kumar Mangalam Birla becomes the new Chairman. Vodafone retains the right to appoint a CFO where as both the entities will choose a CEO as well as the COO.

In total, the Board of the combined entity will be having 12 directors including three directors appointed by each of the party, and six independent directors.

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M&A

Prysm Acquires Enterprise Automation Solution Firm Kaybus

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Cloud based digital canvas solution provider Prysm on Thursday acquired Kaybus, a company that develops secure, cloud-based knowledge automation software for enterprises. This acquisition would help the company to offer more enhanced and secure enterprise-grade application Suite.

“We are very pleased to announce that both the Kaybus technology and the entire Kaybus team are now joining the Prysm family,” said Amit Jain, CEO of Prysm. “The enterprise-grade quality that our customers have come to expect from us will be further enhanced by this acquisition, and we are working quickly to incorporate the many advantages that Kaybus brings to our application suite.”

The company said the integration of the Kaybus development team and technology into its application suite is already underway and all Kaybus employees, based primarily in California and India, have already joined the firm.

Post integration, the company believes, its application suite for enterprises would add a number of enhancements. A wide range of mission-critical enhancements from the acquisition are expected to benefit end users and application administrators across four key areas:

· Security enhancements – New configuration options and flexible tools for administrators will help ensure adherence to strict enterprise security standards
· Enhanced language flexibility – New user interfaces and documentation in local languages will encourage adoption among end users during global implementations
· Robust search functionality – Enhanced search enables specific content searches across Prysm projects and workspaces, using criteria filters to quickly find data and information
· Enterprise-grade and secure single sign-on – Streamlined approach saves administration time as users leverage sign-on without sacrificing security

“This is a strategic technology acquisition for Prysm,” explained Ira M. Weinstein, senior analyst and partner at Wainhouse Research. “The Prysm environment excels at helping users create and collaborate across various types of content, and integrating the Kaybus technology into its portfolio will make that content searchable, more easily accessible, and more valuable to Prysm customers.”

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M&A

Intel Acquires Automotive Tech Firm And Tesla Partner Mobileye For $14.7 Bn

Mobileye

Intel on Monday announced its acquiring Israel based automotive technology firm Mobileye, that used to be a partner of Tesla, for $14.7 billion which would propel the US based chip maker’s ambition to develop driver-less solutions for automakers.

Mobileye develops solutions and components for autonomous vehicles and has around 660 employees. The transaction is expected to be closed by December this year.

Intel estimates the driver-less and autonomous car industry would be worth $70 billion by 2030 and this acquisition of Mobileye is a step in the right direction.

“This acquisition is a great step forward for our shareholders, the automotive industry and consumers,” said Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO. “Intel provides critical foundational technologies for autonomous driving including plotting the car’s path and making real-time driving decisions. Mobileye brings the industry’s best automotive-grade computer vision and strong momentum with automakers and suppliers. Together, we can accelerate the future of autonomous driving with improved performance in a cloud-to-car solution at a lower cost for automakers.”

Post acquisition, the combined entity will consist of Mobileye and Intel’s Automated Driving Group, will be headquartered in Israel and led by Prof. Amnon Shashua, Mobileye’s CoFounder, Chairman and CTO. Intel Senior Vice President Doug Davis will oversee the combined organization’s engagement across Intel’s business groups and will report to Prof. Amnon Shashua after the transaction’s closing.

Intel said the combined organization will support both companies’ existing production programs and build upon relationships with automotive OEMs, Tier-1 suppliers and semiconductor partners to develop advanced driving assist, highly autonomous and fully autonomous driving programs.

Mobileye supplies technology solution to global automakers for their autonomous vehicles. The company was an early partner of autonomous luxury car maker Tesla but both the companies parted their way last year when the driver of the Tesla S car died in an accident when it was being driven hands-free. The Israeli firm had alleged that Tesla was not driving as per its safety guidelines.

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M&A

In Africa Airtel Merges With Millicom For Ghana Market

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Bharti Airtel today said it has merged with Millicom in Africa to jointly run the business in Ghana market. Millicom that offers telecom services in Ghana under Tigo brand will, after the merger, be jointly owned by the Airtel-Millicom entity with equal ownership and governance rights.

At present Millicom or Tigo commands little over 17% market share in Ghana and the Airtel said that after the merger the combined entity would serve nearly 10 million customers of which 5.6 million are data customers.

Airtel in a statement said the entity’s revenue would be around $300 million and it offers coverage of around 80% of Ghana’s population.

“The agreement highlights our commitment to the Ghana market and our customers. The coming together of the two entities will benefit customers, who can now enjoy an extensive combined network and a wider range of affordable and innovative products and services. It will further strengthen our position in the market and offer huge benefits arising out of synergies in operations, resulting in better experience for the customers,” said Raghunath Mandava, MD and CEO, Airtel Africa.

By integrating the two networks, the combined business is expected to provide Ghanaian customers with a major boost in both rural and urban network coverage – in turn translating into better voice quality, high speed data services and reinforced network stability and resilience.

With the combined fibre footprint and increased number of data centres, enterprise customers – including both large corporations and SMEs – would have access to a diverse portfolio of world-class solutions. Mobile Financial Services will also be greatly enhanced with combined agent networks and platforms.

Mohamed Dabbour, Executive Vice President, Millicom Africa, said: “In a highly fragmented telecom market, this deal represents a major milestone for our business in Ghana. The combination of Tigo and Airtel will create an operator that will be able to offer Ghanaian consumers and businesses a state of the art network with high speed mobile data coverage. This transaction underlines confidence in the Ghanaian economy, and provides the opportunity to develop nationwide digital infrastructure and services in Ghana.”

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CorporateM&A

Route Mobile Sells 10% Stake To Shrem Group For $23 Mn

Route-mobile-Logo

Route Mobile, a messaging and voice platform firm, has sold 10% stake to real estate firm Shrem Group to raise $23 million or close to Rs 155 crore taking the company’s valuation to $230 million.

“We are looking forward to collaborate closely with the investor to create a global messaging giant based out of India, allowing us to offer greater value for our clients across all regions,” said Route Mobile group CEO Rajdip Gupta.

The group is planning to enter in to new geographies to expand its business and also mulling an entry into the digital payment industry.

“On-boarding of a global investor not only establishes the untapped potential of growth in the messaging industry as a whole but is a testimony to Route Mobile’s strategy and vision in particular. It opens up opportunities within our investor’s network for business development in selected overseas geographies,” Gupta added.

It had acquired Cellent Technologies and Defero Mobile in 2016 with the vision to expand global presence in the Asia Pacific region, Europe and the Middle East.

Route Mobile had last year expressed to go public and list in both the Indian stock exchanges – BSE and NSE, however no decision has been taken on the same.

Shrem Group who bought 10% stake in Route Mobile is a privately-owned family business founded by brothers Nitan and Hitesh Chhatwal.  The firm has a vested interest in real estate, finance, hospitality and healthcare. Previous investments include Perfect Engine Component Pvt. Ltd, which manufactures steel and valves used by the auto industry as well as Nanavati Hospitals based out of Mumbai.

“Capitalising on the Route Mobile Group is a step in Shrem Group’s strategy to further diversify into new age business. We feel Route Mobile’s business model is rather unique and has great potential,” said Nitan Chhatwal, Founder of Shrem Group.

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CorporateM&A

Bharti Airtel Acquires Telenor India, Deal Closes In 12 Months

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Big news of this morning. Bharti Airtel today said it is going to acquire Telenor India, the Indian telecom arm of Telenor. Both the firms have signed an agreement in this regard. The acquisition is subject to requisite regulatory approvals.

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As part of the agreement, Airtel will acquire Telenor India’s running operations in seven circles – Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West) and Assam. These circles represent a high population concentration and therefore offer a high potential for growth.

The proposed acquisition will include transfer of all of Telenor India’s assets and customers, further augmenting Airtel’s overall customer base and network. It will also enable Airtel to further bolster its strong spectrum foot-print in these seven circles, with the addition of 43.4 MHz spectrum in the 1800 MHz band. Airtel will ensure quality services to Telenor India’s customers, while offering them the added benefits of its innovative product portfolio, access to superior voice & data services, mobile banking, VAS and domestic/ international roaming facilities. Telenor India’s operations and services will continue as normal until the completion of the transaction.

“The agreement underlines our commitment to lead India’s digital revolution by offering world-class and affordable telecom services through a robust spectrum portfolio spread across multiple bands. On completion, the proposed acquisition will undergo seamless integration, both on the customer as well as the network side, and further strengthen our market position in several key circles. The customers of Telenor India will now be able to enjoy India’s widest and fastest voice & data network, and a range of Airtel’s world-class products and services,” said Gopal Vittal, Managing Director and CEO (India and South Asia), Bharti Airtel.

“The acquisition of additional spectrum through this transaction, which made an attractive business proposition, has further enhanced our already solid spectrum portfolio. The proposed transaction will also create substantial long term value for our shareholders given the significant synergies.” added Gopal.

Sigve Brekke, Chief Executive Officer of Telenor Group, said, “We believe today’s agreement is in the best interest of our customers, employees and Telenor Group. Finding a long term solution to our India business has been a priority for us, and we are pleased with our agreement with Airtel. The decision to exit India has not been taken lightly. After thorough consideration, it is our view that the significant investments needed to secure Telenor India’s future business on a standalone basis will not give an acceptable level of return.”

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CorporateM&A

Airtel Acquires Small Ticket Money Lending Firm Seynse

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Bharti Airtel today acquired a fintech firm named Seynse Technologies Pvt. Ltd. The acquisition was done through Bharti Airtel’s subsidiary Bharti Airtel Services. Whether it is a complete takeover or a majority equity acquisition is not known.

Seynse (pronounced ‘Sense’), through its financial product called Loan Singh, offers small ticket loans to needy individuals. Seynse has built a proprietary credit engine and advanced machine learning capacity to serve customers.  The company claims it offers loans to creditworthy yet unserved borrowers.

The fintech company is registered in Goa with an authorised capital of Rs 30 lakh and paid up capital of Rs 2 lakh 34 thousand.

“Over the years, Airtel has developed strong in-house data science capabilities that enable us to serve our customers better. Seynse’s advanced credit scoring algorithms based on multiple sources and digital analytics will add immense value to our innovation factory. We look forward to working with the passionate team of professionals at Seynse to bring targeted products and solutions to our 270 million plus customers,” said Harmeen Mehta, Global CIO and Director – Engineering, Bharti Airtel.

Gourav Jaswal, Director, Seynse added “We’re privileged to have Airtel as a partner in our growth journey and look forward to gaining from their deep understanding of the Indian customer. This partnership will give Seynse the opportunity to innovate for a much wider audience and add to its product portfolio.”

The company has 41 employees and its revenue for FY 2016 was Rs 6,53,203.

 

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M&A

Capgemini Acquires TCube Solutions, Idean In Two Separate Deals

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Outsourcing and consulting firm Capgimini has announced two acquisitions on Thursday. It has acquired Bhubaneshwar, India based TCube Solutions, an IT solutions firm specialising in insurance and financial services.

This acquisition, Capgimini says, will help the consulting firm strengthen its positions in the insurance and financial services sector, particularly in north America.

No finance details about the acquisition or transaction was publicly shared by the firm.

“TCube Solutions prides itself on its deep domain expertise and the longevity of our customer relationships,” said Sam McGuckin, President and CEO of TCube Solutions, who joins Capgemini. “Our joining Capgemini will enable its broader customer base to benefit from our established solutions and services, as well as provide TCube’s current customers the means to plan their transformational futures.”

TCube Solutions specializes in Property and Casualty (P&C) insurance software and services. Its offerings include integrated policy management, billing, claims operations, reinsurance management systems and data strategy capabilities. It is the largest independent service provider specializing in Duck Creek Technologies.

“We have worked hard to build a strong team with key skills and expertise that are in great demand in today’s fast moving insurance market,” explains Sabyasachi Patnaik, Delivery Lead, TCube Solutions, who joins Capgemini. “As part of Capgemini we are looking forward to helping a much wider base of clients build more agile insurance services to enhance their customer experiences.”

In a similar development, Capgemini has acquired Palo Alto, US based digital design firm Idean. The transactions details are, however, not known.

Acquisition of Idean, Capgemini says, will reinforce the Group’s user-centered and digital-first experience design and strategy services, particularly in North America, and extend its network of Digital studios; helping to meet growing customer demand for the Group’s end to end digital services.

“Idean’s Scandinavian design ethos and Silicon Valley mindset are a perfect fit to further enhance Capgemini’s progressive digital customer experience offerings,” said Capgemini CEO Hermmelin.

 

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CorporateResults

Jio Effect : Idea Cellular Revenue Drops To Unforeseen Level

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Idea Cellular today announced its financial results for Q3 and what we witnessed today has not happened in the last 10 years for the Aditya Birla Group run operator. Even in its own terms, Idea Cellular admits the company’s revenue has dropped to an unforeseen level.

The company posted revenues of Rs 8663 crore in Q3 2017 compared to Rs 9300 crore in the previous quarter showing a dip of 6.9% sequentially. This dip was seen across it operating circles.

More shocking is, Idea posted a loss of Rs 386 crore in this quarter compared to a profit of Rs 90 crore in Q2. On a standalone basis too, the firm posted loss of Rs 479 crore compared to a profit of Rs 4 crore. This had never happened since 2007 when the company went public.

The company attributed this negative development to Reliance Jio, of course without exclusively naming it but referring it to as a new operator.

“The Indian mobile industry witnessed an unprecedented disruption in the quarter of October to December 2016, primarily due to free voice & mobile data promotions by the new entrant in the sector,” Idea said in a statement.

“Consequently, revenue KPIs and financial parameters for all mobile operators have sharply declined, and for the first time in its history the flourishing Indian wireless sector is trending towards an annual revenue decline of 3 to 5% in FY2017 (vs FY16). The sector can expect to recover revenues only once the new operator starts charging for its pan India mobile services.”

Idea Cellular said because of this new operator and the difficult trends in the industry it was forced to reduce voice rates by 10.6% per minute and mobile data rates by 15.2% per megabyte. The company also said that because of the free offering, both on voice and data, Idea lost 5.5 million mobile data users during this period.

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