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Shares of Bharti Airtel today closed with up to 8 per cent gains as the company announced acquisition of Tata group's loss-making mobile telephony business, almost for free, boosting its spectrum holding and user base. The stock soared 7.89 per cent to settle at Rs 431.60 on BSE. During the day, it zoomed 8.98 per cent to Rs 436. At NSE, shares of the company surged 7.65 per cent to end at Rs 430.90. Strong gains in the stock price boosted the company's market valuation by Rs 12,612.79 crore to Rs 1,72,527.79 crore. The stock was the biggest gainer among blue-chips on both the key indices during the day. Shares of Tata Teleservices Maharashtra (TTML) advanced by 9.95 per cent to Rs 4.86 - its highest trading permissible limit for the day - on BSE. At NSE, it climbed 9 per cent to Rs 4.80. Financial services firm UBS said near-term earnings downside notwithstanding, it saw Bharti Airtel as a key long term winner given its scale, spectrum footprint and network headstart. Bharti Airtel is set to take over Tata group's money- losing mobile business from November 1, saving the Tatas from the prospect of having to shut down the struggling unit. Airtel, for whom it will be the seventh acquisition in five years, will acquire 4 crore customers of Tata Teleservices Ltd (TTSL) and Tata Teleservices Maharashtra Ltd (TTML) in 19 telecom circles or zones on "a debt-free, cash-free basis", the two groups announced in separate but identical press statements yesterday. While all of the Rs 31,000 crore debt will remain with the Tatas, Airtel will assume payment of close to 20 per cent of the Rs 9,000-10,000 crore deferred payments for the spectrum to the government.
The Tatas will pay the rest.
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