Vodafone-Idea Merger Said to Be Likely Completed by March

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Vodafone-Idea Merger Said to Be Likely Completed by March

Vodafone India and Idea Cellular merger deal is expected to be completed by March next year, as all regulatory approvals are likely to be obtained by that time, a source privy to the deal said.

"There are only two permission left in the amalgamation scheme of the Idea and Vodafone. It should be completed by end of the current financial year," an industry source, who did not wish to be named, told PTI.

Emails sent to Vodafone and Idea did not elicit any response.

Both the companies are before National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for seeking its nod after which they will need final approval from the Department of Telecom.

Idea Cellular will hold a meeting of shareholders and creditors on October 12 to seek their approval for the amalgamation of Vodafone India's business with itself.

The meeting of equity shareholders, secured creditors and unsecured creditors will be held in Gandhinagar. It is being convened following directions of the NCLT bench at Ahmedabad.

Reliance Communications on Sunday announced termination of mobile business merger deal with Aircel due to "Legal and regulatory uncertainties, and various interventions by vested interests" leading to "inordinate delays in receipt of relevant approvals for the proposed transaction".

Earlier this year, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular had agreed to merge their operations to create the country's largest telecom operator worth of more than $23 billion (roughly Rs. 1,51,153 crores) with a 35 percent market share.

The combined entity of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, which are currently India's number 2 and 3, respectively, would dislodge Bharti Airtel to counter the fierce price war in the world's second-largest telecom market.

The deal gives Vodafone India an implied enterprise value of Rs. 82,800 crores and Idea Rs. 72,200 crores.

Post the transaction, the British firm will own 45.1 percent stake in the merged entity, while the Aditya Birla group, Ideas parent, will have 26 percent after paying Rs. 3,874 crores cash for a 4.9 percent stake.

The remaining 28.9 percent will be held by other shareholders.

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