Sri Lankan operators Airtel and Dialog to merge

Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel has secured an agreement with Malaysian holding company Axiata Group Berhad and its Sri Lankan telecom operator subsidiary Dialog to merge their Sri Lankan operations.

Dialog Axiata, Axiata Group Berhad and Airtel have entered into a binding term sheet to combine the operations of Bharti Airtel Lanka, Airtel’s wholly-owned subsidiary, with Dialog, a subsidiary of Axiata Group Berhad. The proposed deal envisages Airtel being given a stake in Dialog, equal to the fair value of Airtel Lanka. Airtel would then be issued new shares in Dialog.

Discussions are ongoing between the parties and also with regulatory authorities. The proposed transaction is subject to signing of definitive agreements and regulatory and shareholder approvals.

Dialog Axiata, formerly known as MTN Networks, is the largest mobile operator in Sri Lanka. Axiata Group Berhad holds a majority stake with the remainder traded publicly.

In addition to its mobile operations, Dialog operates a DTH TV service, Dialog TV, and also provides fixed line and broadband services.

The TV offering, which reportedly had around 1.7 million subscribers in 2021, provides a wide range of local and international services, including Indian Premier League cricket via Star Sports.

In addition to the satellite offering, Dialog provides a hybrid Android TV set-top, the ViU Hub 2.0, offering advanced functionality and streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video.

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