Bharti Airtel in talks to buy minority stake in Channel Islands’ state-owned telco

Bharti Global's subsidiary Jersey Airtel is in talks to merge operations with state-run telecom firm JT Global, one of the operators in the Channel Islands.

Under the proposed deal, Jersey Airtel will acquire a minority stake in JT Global.

"Airtel and JT have confirmed that they are in initial talks to merge their operations across the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey," JT Global and Jersey Airtel said in a joint statement.

"The proposed arrangement under discussion would see Airtel take a strategic minority interest in JT, with the States of Jersey retaining majority control," it said.

The merged entity will integrate networks, maximising coverage and speed while reducing the number of sites across the island, the statement said.

Jersey Airtel is subsidiary of Bharti Global in Jersey and Guernsey islands located off the coast of France in the English Channel.

"Should agreement be reached following these discussions, a merger would require the approval of CICRA (Channel Islands Competition and Regulatory Authorities) and shareholders. In the case of JT, this would require the explicit approval of the States of Jersey," the statement said.

Jersey's resident population at the end of 2014 was estimated as about 1 lakh, and of Guernsey around 65,000.

Apart from Jersey Airtel and JT Global, Bahrain based Batelco also has operations in the Channel Islands.

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