Idea eyes further 20% stake in Spice Comm

Written by Agencies | Mumbai, June 30: | Updated: Jun 30 2008, 17:22pm hrs
Aditya Birla group firm Idea Cellular on Monday made an open offer to the shareholders of Spice Communications for acquiring additional 20 per cent stake in the telecom services provider for about Rs 1,066.63 crore.

Idea Cellular along with Persons Acting in Concert (PACs), including Telekom Malaysia International (TMI), TMI Mauritius, TM International Berhad and Green Acre Agro Services have made the open offer for a further 20 per cent stake in Spice Communications.

Idea Cellular along with the PACs have made the open offer for acquiring up to 137,985,050 equity shares representing 20 per cent of the paid-up equity share capital of Spice Communications at Rs 77.30 each.

The open offer would start on August 22, and would close on September 11, the company said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Earlier on June 25, Idea Cellular, the fifth-largest mobile operator in terms of subscribers, said it would acquire 40.8 per cent stake in B K Modi-owned Spice group for Rs 2,716 crore.

The deal would catapult Idea Cellular's market share to 11.1 per cent and more importantly would get the crucial spectrum on 900 Mhz band.

The Birla group company had said it would merge Spice with itself through a share swap, where Spice shareholders would get 49 Idea shares for every 100 Spice shares held. It would also pay an additional Rs 544 crore as non compete fee.

The long-drawn acquisition would give Idea straightaway two existing circles of Punjab and Karnataka with a subscriber base of 4.4 million.

In the morning trade, Idea shares were trading at Rs 97.10, down 0.36 per cent, while Spice Communication shares were up 0.62 per cent at Rs 72.50.