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Idea-Vodafone announce merger; combined entity to be biggest teleco in India

20 March, 2017, 07:03 | Author: Nadine Todd
  • Idea Vodafone announce merger

The merged company will be the largest with about 387 million users in the country.

Vodafone India and Vodafone Mobile Services have a combined turnover of about Rs 454 billion while Idea has a turnover of about Rs 360 billion.

A merger between the two companies will take the combined entity to the number one position in India in terms of subscribers at 387 million. The remaining stake will remain with the public.

- Mobile Internet connections (2G+3G+4G): Idea has 48.58 million, while Vodafone has 65 milllion, giving the combine entity a grand total of 113.5 million connections. The appointments of chief executive and chief operating officers will require approval of the boards of both the companies while Vodafone will have exclusive rights to appoint chief financial officer.

Vodafone and Idea are weighing options on excess airwaves-including selling or sharing them, people with knowledge of the matter said last month. The Board will include lndependent Directors.

Jio has made an impact with free voice calls and cut-price data services, forcing India's three biggest operators - Bharti Airtel (BRTI.NS), Vodafone and Idea - to slash prices and accept lower profits. On amalgamation of VMSL becoming effective, the company shall issue shares to VIL equal to 47 percent of post issue paid-up capital.

Vodafone could decide to sell part of its stake in the merged company, while the Birlas would likely offer to buy shares from other investors after the merger to bring their holding to about 26 percent, according to the people.

The promoters of Idea Cellular have the sole right to appoint the chairman.

Vodafone will hold 45.1% of the combined company after transferring a stake of 4.9% to the promoters of Idea for Rs 3874 crore in cash.

In a BSE filing Idea said, "The board of directors at its meeting held on March 20, 2017, have approved the scheme of amalgamation of Vodafone India Limited (VIL) and its wholly owned subsidiary Vodafone Mobile Services Limited (VMIL) with the company subject to necessary approvals". Vodafone has the right to appoint CFO of company.

More details about the deal are awaited.

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