Idea board approves merger with Vodafone India

British telecom major Vodafone and Aditya Birla group-run Idea Cellular on Monday announced the merger of their Indian operations, creating the largest mobile operator by customer and revenue market share.

The merged entity, which will come into force over the next two years, will be headed by Kumar Mangalam Birla as Chairman.

Vodafone will have its nominee as the chief financial officer, its CEO Vittorio Colao said at a press meet, which was also attended by Birla.

The all-share merger for both partners excludes Vodafone’s 42 per cent stake in Indus Towers and will be effected through issuing new shares in Idea to Vodafone and result in Vodafone deconsolidating Vodafone India.

Vodafone will own 45.1 per cent in the new company after transferring 4.9 per cent to the Aditya Birla group for Rs 3,874 crore in cash concurrent with completion of the merger.

Idea will hold 26 per cent of the combined entity while the rest will be owned by public shareholders.

Idea and Vodafone said the merged entity will be jointly controlled by Vodafone and the Aditya Birla group as per shareholders’ agreement.

(Agencies)

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