Airtel disconnects Rs 700-cr Loop Mobile buy

'Loop Mobile and Bharti applied to DoT for approval of the business transfer in March 2014. The approval for the transaction is still awaited from the relevant authorities as a result of which Bharti Airtel has withdrawn from the proposed transaction causing huge loss to the company,' Loop Mobile spokesperson said. DoT is yet to give clearance to the deal as it estimates that Loop Mobile and its sister concern Loop Telecom owe about Rs 808 crore in spectrum and other charges to the government.

Loop Mobile's permit in Mumbai is expiring on 29 November and the company did not purchase
spectrum in February auction which was mandatory for continuing its operations.

Airtel had signed a deal with Loop in February this year to buy Loop Mobile in Mumbai under a strategic agreement for about Rs 700 crore. Under the agreement, Loop Mobile's 3 million subscribers (at that time) in Mumbai were supposed to join Airtel's over 4 million subscribers. Loop Mobile will not be able to migrate its subscribers to Airtel as originally envisaged.

No immediate comments were received from Airtel. Private sector lender Axis Bank has told the DoT that Rs 215-crore loan to Loop Mobile will be at risk if the deal of the Mumbai-based operator to sell its assets to Bharti Airtel is not approved. A consortium led by Axis Bank had given advanced loans of Rs 350 crore to Loop Mobile and the current outstanding stood at Rs 215 crore, according to a communication by the bank to DoT.


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