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Vodafone announces mega Indian merger
March 20, 2017, 6:47 am

The combined Vodafone-Idea group are set to become India’s largest telecom operation with almost 400 million customers, or 35 per cent market share [File photo]

Heralding the making of India’s largest telecom player, UK’s Vodafone group and Indian telecom firm Idea Cellular agreed on Monday to merge their Indian operations within two years, a joint statement said on Monday.

“The combined company will have the scale required to ensure sustainable consumer choice in a competitive market and to expand new technologies,” Vodafone Group PLC Chief Executive Vittoria Colao said.

Vodafone will own 45.1 percent of the merged entity, after it transfers about 4.9 percent to promoters of Idea and/or their affiliates for $592.15 million in cash, a joint press release said.

Telecom firms in India are trying to consolidate after Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., backed by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, introduced free services in September last year.

The combined Vodafone-Idea group are set to become India’s largest telecom operation with almost 400 million customers, or 35 per cent market share.

“Idea and Vodafone will together create a very valuable company given our complementary strengths,” Billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla said on Monday. Aditya Birla Group is the controlling holder of Idea Cellular.

Birla is slated to be the chairman of the new entity.

 

TBP and Agencies

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