Bharti Airtel and Robi Axiata to merge operations in Bangladesh
Dated: February 01, 2016
Bharti Airtel and Malaysia-based Axiata Group will be merging their operations in Bangladesh to form the second largest operator in that country. Axiata Group Berhad and Airtel has signed a definitive agreement to merge their respective telecom subsidiaries -- Robi Axiata Ltd and Airtel Bangladesh Ltd -- in Bangladesh, Airtel said in a statement.
Following the merger, Robi will serve approximately 40 million customers and will overtake Banglalink Digital Communications as the second largest telecom company in Bangladesh. Telenor-run Grameenphone Ltd is the market leader with 56.7 million subscribers, followed by Egypt’s Orascom-owned Banglalink Digital Communications Ltd with 32.86 million subscribers.
Robi and Airtel follow with 28.3 million and 10.7 million subscribers respectively. A merger of the two would make the entity a strong No. 2 operator with 39 million subscribers.
“The highly competitive and crowded Bangladesh telecommunications sector solicits consolidation and we believe this merger will form greater economies of scale for both Groups. Additionally, it will result in shared investment capacity of the leading two industry players to optimise strategies and deliver enhanced value to consumers, benefitting the industry at large,” Supun Weerasinghe, CEO, Robi Axiata Ltd said.