Bharti Airtel is in talks with Dialog Axiata, the Malaysia-based Axiata group’s telecom unit to have its wholly-owned Sri Lanka unit merged with the company, according to Economic Times. Airtel has similar merger talks in Bangladesh too, wherein Axiata will be the dominant shareholder and Airtel a strategic minority holder in the combined entity.
According to the report, Dialog Axiata may issue ordinary shares to Bharti Singapore, a wholly-owned Bharti Airtel offshore arm.
Among the five mobile operators in Sri Lanka, Airtel Lanka is the fourth largest operator behind other three leaders Dialog Axiata, Mobitel and Etisalat. Airtel Lanka is said to have two million customers while Dialog Axiata has around 10 million.
However, both the companies have not confirmed the news of the merger yet.