Bharti Airtel Acquires Telenor India, Deal Closes In 12 Months


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.


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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Airtel Acquires Small Ticket Money Lending Firm Seynse


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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Capgemini Acquires TCube Solutions, Idean In Two Separate Deals


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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Sachin Backed Smartron Invests In Electric Bike Maker Volta Motors

smartron logo

Smartron, an Indian technology company backed by ace cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, has invested in electric bike startup Volta Motors. Though the amount of money invested is not known nor the equity, it is believed that Smartron now must have majority stake in Volta Motors as it will be called as Tron Motors, a Smartron Company.


The Chennai based Smartron has so far launched two products in the market- a smartphone named tPhone and a laptop named tBook. Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar has invested in the company who prefers to be called as an Indian IoT company.

“This also marks a collaboration of two start-ups with the same ideals and aspirations of building an Indian brand in the global product market place,” the company said today.

Volta Motors has so far designed and developed India’s first cross-over electric bike ‘VOLTA ZAP’. Under the aegis of this new company the team will accelerate the development, manufacturing and commercialisation of these vehicles. The company also intends to bring out a range of IoT enabled electric vehicles that will be designed, engineered, and manufactured in India for India and the world. It will also redefine the lifestyle segment of mobility by being sustainable and promote healthy living.

“Our association with Volta illustrates the strategy that Smartron has pursued from its inception that we need to be known as company that is building a strong product ecosystem across IoT verticals from personal to health to home to energy to farming. Electric eco-friendly bikes powered by an IoT platform like Smartron’s TRONX will be an essential part of our range of smart products”.

“We are excited to be a part of Smartron’s journey. We share similar synergies of bringing in smart and innovative products that are aligned to create an Indian brand that is recognised globally. With the creation of Tron Motors we hope to expand our ecosystem under the theme of being environmentally friendly as well as high on style quotient,” said Anoop Nishanth, CEO, Volta Motors.

This strategic investment is a part of Smartron’s approach to build broader product ecosystem under its innovative and unique AI powered tronx IoT platform. Smartron is extending its unique tronx platform across range of verticals starting from smart home, personalized health, smart energy, intelligent vehicles, smart farming and infrastructure, to bring-in next generation of smart devices, sensors, services and care to consumer, enterprise, industrial and infrastructure markets.

This partnership would provide the strength and momentum to develop and expand Smartron’s significant IoT enabled portfolio to address substantial opportunities in India and abroad markets, the company added.

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Vodafone Confirms Merger Talks With Idea Cellular

vodafone idea merger

This could be the biggest development in the Indian telecom industry for 2017. Country’s second largest operator Vodafone India today confirmed having discussions with Idea Cellular, the third largest operator, for a possible merger. The Vodafone-Idea merger speculation was doing the rounds for over a month now.

“Vodafone confirms that it is in discussions with the Aditya Birla Group about an all share merger of Vodafone India and Idea,” the company with the British origin said in a statement. However, the 42% stake it has in Indus Towers is excluded from this discussion.

Speculations regarding a possible merger of these two big telecom firms is going on for a month now with financial institutions advising both the firms reportedly confirming about it.

Though Vodafone has confirmed it, details about a possible merger is not yet clear and also the kind of transaction it will involve is not yet ascertained. However, Vodafone has said it will involve share transfer between the two firms.

“Any merger would be effected through the issue of new shares in Idea to Vodafone and would result in Vodafone deconsolidating Vodafone India,” the statement added.

Typical to any speculative M&A statement Vodafone said that ‘there is no certainty that any transaction will be agreed, nor as to the terms or timing of any transaction.’

This Vodafone-Idea merger, two of country’s largest operators, is a direct fallout of Reliance Jio’s entry to the telecom domain that has impacted the bottomline of all three big incumbent operators – Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular.

The ferocity of Jio’s impact can be measured from the Airtel’s Q3 results that were announced last week where the company’s net profit plunged to more than 55% and it is expected that the Q4 would be worse. Similarly, Idea Cellular halted its result announcement and postponed a board meeting last week anticipating a net loss of around Rs 500 crore for Q3 – a first for the company.

If the Vodafone-Idea merger happens it will change the dynamics of the Indian telecocm industry and will change the pecking order.

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Wipro Acquires Brazilian Tech Firm InfoServer For $9 Mn


India’s Wipro on Wednesday announced that it is going to acquire InfoServer, a Brazil based firm providing software solutions for the BFSI segment, for $8.7 million or 27.6 million in Brazilian currency.

InfoSERVER provides custom application development and software deployment services to banking, financial services and insurance firms, primarily in the Brazilian market. It is a 21 year old company and boasts of some of the largest banks of the country as its clients.

This acquisition, the company said, will help the company making bigger strides in the LATAM (Latin American) markets. The Indian company said the acquisition closely aligns with its vision to localise, expand its presence and become a significant partner of choice in the LATAM market. It also makes the Azim Premji founded Indian software firm an end-to-end IT services provider that brings global expertise while operating as a local company. Wipro has a significant presence in Latin America with offices across 5 countries in the region – Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico.

“We welcome InfoSERVER to the family. The LATAM market and Brazil in particular is a strategic growth and investment region for Wipro. This acquisition will provide Wipro with scale and key client relationships, especially in the banking, financial services and insurance domains, which are the largest and fastest growing sectors in the region,” said Ankur Prakash, Vice President and Head of New Growth and Emerging Markets, Wipro Limited.

Welcoming the acquisition, Fabiano Funari, Vice President and Head of Sales & Operations, InfoSERVER S.A. said, “We are excited about what Wipro and InfoSERVER can accomplish together for our customers and employees. Wipro and InfoSERVER will combine strong local domain knowledge with technological breadth and global experience to help clients achieve their desired outcomes. Wipro’s global client base, delivery expertise and scale will help us expand our reach and offerings.”

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Cisco Acquires AppDynamics For $3.7 Bn


Cisco today announced to acquire San Francisco based software firm AppDynamics for $3.7 billion. AppDynamics is an application intelligence firm and develop solutions like cloud application and business monitoring platform to help companies to improve application and business performance.

The financial transactions involves cash and assumed equity transfers.

Post acquisition AppDynamics will continue to be a led by its CEO David Wadhwani and it will be integrated in the company as a new software business unit in Cisco’s IoT and Applications business unit. The acquisition is expected to close in Cisco’s third quarter of fiscal year 2017, subject to customary closing conditions.

“Applications have become the lifeblood of a company’s success. Keeping those apps running and performing well has never been more important. Unfortunately, that job has only gotten harder, as IT departments and developers struggle with a tangled web of disconnected, complex data that’s hard to understand,” said Rowan Trollope, Cisco senior vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Internet of Things and Applications Business Group.

“The combination of Cisco and AppDynamics will allow us to provide end to end visibility and intelligence from the network through to the application; which, combined with security and scale, and help IT to drive a new level of business results,” he added.

“AppDynamics is empowering companies to build and successfully run the applications they need to compete in today’s digital world,” said David Wadhwani, AppDynamics CEO and president. “With digital transformation, companies must re-define their relationships with customers through software. We’re excited to join Cisco, as it will enable us to help more companies around the globe.”

In this digital economy, the application is the business and applications drive business outcomes. But as things get simpler for consumers, they get more complex for companies trying to stay ahead of rising customer expectations. Together AppDynamics and Cisco will provide customers with intelligent and actionable insights, helping them make speedy business decisions and improve business performance.


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Liquid Web Acquires Hosting Provider WiredTree


Managed hosting provider Liquid Web Thursday acquired Chicago-based managed web hosting company, WiredTree. The company, however, has not disclosed the details of the transaction. In August last year Liquid Web had acquired Rackspace’s Cloud Sites business unit.

While most of the largest hosting and cloud providers are either focused on very small website hosting or infrastructure services for very large enterprises, Liquid Web focuses its managed hosting products and high-touch support on tech-savvy, web-reliant professionals. These professionals rely heavily on the web and cloud to grow their businesses or to power multiple websites and applications. They need a reliable, secure partner who is building products for them and guaranteeing 100 percent power and uptime. Liquid Web is that partner.

“With the addition of both WiredTree and Cloud Sites, we further our mission to empower web professionals worldwide to create content and commerce without worry,” said Liquid Web CEO Jim Geiger. “For web professionals whose websites fuel their businesses, we understand they need a partner to provide both a technological advantage and support, with a broad portfolio of products and a whatever-it-takes attitude. We’re purposefully building a smart, easy, flexible experience that does just that – on our fully owned infrastructure, which is backed by the most helpful humans in hosting.”

The company said for WiredTree’s customers, the acquisition means better infrastructure, no change in pricing and superior support with access to Liquid Web’s 250 Red Hat, Linux and Windows-certified technicians who are available 24x7x365 by phone, email or chat. In order to ensure a seamless and hassle-free transition, Liquid Web has created a specialized migration team to work directly with customers as their scheduled upgrades occur.

“As their managed hosting provider, we want our newest customers to know that we are willing to go above and beyond to help them succeed,” said Geiger. “We look forward to creating an exceptional business partnership and would like to welcome each WiredTree customer to the Liquid Web family.”

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Bharti Airtel To Acquire Orascom’s Submarine Cable Business


Bharti Airtel Tuesday announced to acquire Orascom’s submarine cable business of its Middle East North Africa Company Submarine Cable Systems S.A.E (“MENA-SCS”). The 100% acquisition, however, is subject to requisite regulatory approvals.

MENA-SCS is a 100% subsidiary of Orascom. MENA – SCS owns and operates a submarine cable network between India and Europe covering Middle East, with options to extend the network to Africa. It is a state-of-the-art submarine optic network capable of carrying Multi Tera bits per second of data speeds. MENA cable is live and operational connecting Mumbai – Oman – Saudi Arabia – Egypt and Italy. It further has the branching options to connect to other countries in Europe, Africa and Middle East via branching options to Cyprus, Greece, Djibouti, Yemen, Iran, Lebanon, Libya and Sudan.

The proposed acquisition of MENA-SCS is aimed at further strengthening Airtel’s global network that currently runs across 225,000 Rkms, covering 50 countries and 5 continents. The additional capacity will enable Airtel to serve the growing demand for data services and enterprise services across its footprint of 18 countries across South Asia and Africa.

“The proposed acquisition underlines our commitment to provide world-class service experience to the customers. MENA-SCS will be a good addition to our global network portfolio and provide us with a high quality and diversified new route to Western Europe and the rest of the world,” said Ajay Chitkara, Director and CEO – Global Voice & Data Business, Bharti Airtel.

“With the explosion of data usage in emerging markets, including India and Africa, this asset will provide us a scalable and diverse high capacity highway to serve our customers. In particular, it will provide impetus to India’s emergence as a major regional internet hub serving customers across SAARC region, with seamless global connectivity.”

Currently, Airtel’s global network portfolio includes ownership of i2i submarine cable system connecting Chennai to Singapore, consortium ownership of SMW4 submarine cable system connecting Chennai and Mumbai to Singapore and Europe, and new cable system investments like Asia America Gateway (AAG), India Middle East & Western Europe (IMEWE), Unity, EIG (Europe India Gateway) and East Africa Submarine System (EASSy). It also has terrestrial express connectivity to neighboring countries including Nepal, Pakistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh and China.

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American Tower Corporation Acquires FPS Towers In France

American Tower

American Tower Corporation, that had acquired 51% stake in Viom Networks last year, Monday said it is acquiring French tower firm FPS Towers. The company has partnered with  Dutch pension fund manager PGGM to acquire the French tower firm though other financial details of the deal are not disclosed.

FPS Towers owns and operates approximately 2,400 wireless tower sites across France. American Tower and PGGM expect to fund the equity portion of the transaction proportionally to their interests in the joint venture. American Tower expects to fund the debt portion.

“We are pleased to be continuing our partnership with PGGM by acquiring FPS Towers, which owns an attractive portfolio of French wireless telecommunications real estate assets,” said James D. Taiclet, Jr., American Tower’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer.

“Through this transaction, we expect to elevate the growth profile of our European operations by entering into a new market with attractive wireless tower leasing opportunities and solid long-term growth prospects, while generating immediate accretion to our AFFO per share.”

Commenting on the transaction, Erik van de Brake, head of Infrastructure at PGGM, stated, “We are very pleased to expand our partnership with American Tower to include FPS Towers, which further enhances PGGM’s ability to invest pension money into the real economy on behalf of its clients. The FPS towers are part of an essential infrastructure for mobile communication and this long-term investment is supporting the European economy and will bring good and stable returns to the participants of the funds whose capital we are managing.’’

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017, subject to consultation with FPS Towers’ employee representative body, certain closing conditions and regulatory approval. HSBC is acting as financial advisor to ATC Europe. Additional information regarding the transaction can be found on the American Tower website under the Investor Relations tab.

In October last year American Tower had acquired 51% stake in India’s Viom Networks for Rs 7635 crore besides taking up the debt as well.

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