Vodafone to create biggest operator in India with Idea merger

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The transaction is expected to close during 2018 and will consist of Idea and Vodafone India, without its 42 per cent stake in Indus Towers.

Vodafone has proposed to combine Vodafone India with Idea, creating the largest operator in India as a consequence.

The deal will also create India’s widest mobile network with Idea Cellular making $5.5 million revenue in 2016 and Vodafone India making $6.7 million revenue during the same period.

Vodafone will own 45.1 per cent of the resulting company with Aditya Birla Group taking 26 per cent with a view to equalising the shareholding over time and if the shares are not equal after four years Vodafone will sell down their percentage.

Both companies will contribute their standalone towers with Idea contributing 15.4 thousand tenancies, including its 11.5 per cent stake in Indus Towers and Vodafone contributing 15.8 thousand tenancies excluding the 42 per cent stake of Indus Towers they own.

Vodafone Chief Executive Vittorio Colao said: “The combination of Vodafone India and Idea will create a new champion of Digital India with a vision to bring 4G networks to villages, towns and cities across India.

“The combined company will have the scale required to ensure sustainable consumer choice in a competitive market.”

Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla said: “This landmark combination will enable the Aditya Birla Group to create a high quality digital infrastructure that will make the Government’s Digital india vision a reality.”