New Delhi : Bharti Airtel and Malaysia-based Axiata Group will merge their operations in Bangladesh to form the second largest operator in that country. Axiata Group Berhad and Airtel signed a definitive agreement to merge their respective telecom subsidiaries — Robi Axiata Ltd and Airtel Bangladesh Ltd — in Bangladesh, Airtel said.

According to industry sources, the enterprise valuation of the merged entity is estimated to be around $2 billion. Upon completion of the merger, Axiata will hold 68.3% controlling stake and Bharti Airtel 25%, while the remaining 6.7% will be held by existing shareholder NTT Docomo of Japan.

Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel reported a 22.21% fall in its net profit at Rs 1,117 crore for the three months to December 2015, hit by higher infrastructure and finance costs. The company’s total revenue, however, rose 3.7 per cent to Rs 24,066 crore for the stated period as compared with Rs 23,217 crore in the year-ago quarter.

Mobile data revenue for India registered a growth of 50.6% at Rs 3,184 crore, led by increase in data customer base by 29.9% and traffic by 73.3%.

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