Dialog Axiata Completes Acquisition of Bharti Airtel Lanka

A corporate merger scene featuring two telecom companies, Dialog Axiata and Bharti Airtel Lanka, represented by their logos merging together. The back

Sri Lankan telecom giant Dialog Axiata announced on Thursday that it has officially taken 100% control of rival telco Bharti Airtel Lanka through a share swap, finalizing a deal that has been in progress for over a year.

As part of the share swap agreement, Dialog’s parent company, Malaysia-based Axiata Group, will reduce its share in Dialog from 83% to 73.75%, while India’s Bharti Airtel will own 10.355%. The remaining 15.895% of shares will be held by the public.

Dialog plans to amalgamate Airtel Lanka under the applicable provisions of the Companies Act, with Dialog remaining as the amalgamated entity. The company will begin integrating the two networks but will continue to operate under both the Dialog and Airtel brands for their respective customers.

The merger, officially proposed since May 2023, reached a definitive agreement in April this year. Dialog states that the merger will enable it to leverage economies of scale, reduce infrastructure duplication, save costs, and improve operational efficiencies.

“This merger positions us to drive substantial growth, not just in customer experience and innovation, but also in contributing to the digital economy of Sri Lanka,” said Dialog Axiata CEO Supun Weerasinghe in a statement.

The acquisition widens the gap between market leader Dialog and its remaining two competitors, SLT-Mobitel and Hutch Lanka, who rank second and third, respectively. Dialog already leads the market with close to 18 million subscribers, accounting for an estimated 57% market share. The Airtel Lanka acquisition adds approximately 5 million more subscribers to Dialog’s base.

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