Kumar Birla, Vodafone CEO call on Communications Minister

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New Delhi, March 21 (IANS) After announcing the largest merger in the Indian telecom space, Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman of the Aditya Birla Group that owns Idea Cellular, and Vodafone Group Plc CEO Vittorio Colao on Tuesday met Communications Minister Manoj Sinha here.

According to sources, Birla and Colao sought the government’s advice regarding smoothening of the merger process.

Vodafone India and Aditya Birla Group-promoted Idea Cellular on Monday announced their much-awaited amalgamation, with Kumar Birla as the Chairman of the merged entity.

“Vodafone Group and Idea Cellular announced they have reached an agreement to combine their operations in India (excluding Vodafone’s 42 per cent stake in Indus Towers) to create India’s largest telecom operator,” a joint statement by the companies said on Monday.

“The combined company would become the leading communications provider in India with almost 400 million customers, 35 per cent customer market share and 41 per cent revenue market share,” it added.

The merger will create an entity with over Rs 80,000 crore revenue.

“Vodafone will own 45.1 per cent of the combined company after transferring a stake of 4.9 per cent to the promoters of Idea and/or their affiliates for Rs 3,874 crore in cash concurrent with the completion of the amalgamation,” the statement had said.

“The promoters of Idea will hold 26 per cent of the company and the balance will be held by the public.”

The merged entity will have around a 406 million subscriber base, replacing the current dominant player Bharti Airtel (around 269 million customers).

–IANS

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