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[February 05, 2013]
Airtel to buy Alcatel Lucent's stake in joint venture company
NEW DELHI, Feb 05, 2013 (Mint - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Bharti Airtel Ltd said it would buy Alcatel Lucent SA's stake in a joint venture company that manages the fixed-line telephone network of India's largest telecom service provider. The companies didn't disclose financial details of the transaction.
"It will operate independent of Bharti and going forward, will invite other operators to join in with equity participation and bring the management of their broadband and fixed line networks under its fold," a joint statement issued by the two companies said.
The change will be similar to the Indus Towers venture in which rivals Bharti and Vodafone India Ltd hold 42% each and Idea owns the remaining 16%.
In April 2009, Bharti and Alcatel had announced the formation of a joint venture that would manage Airtel's fixed line and broadband services as well as the migration to next-generation networks to offer advanced services, including high-speed Internet. The venture had the responsibility to design, plan, deploy, optimize and manage Bharti Airtel's broadband and fixed-line telephone network across India.
Shishir Kumar, chief executive of Upper North, Bharti Airtel, has been appointed as the CEO of the entity.
Bharti Airtel provides broadband, data and fixed-line telephone services in 87 cities across India with 3.3 million customers, of which 1.4 million subscribe to Internet services.
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