Vodafone-Idea merger in final stages of approval: Govt

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New Delhi | Published: March 28, 2018 4:22:33 AM

According to people in the know of the developments, the Department of Telecom (DoT) is considering the merger and will give clearance on the same by April. The merger has already been cleared by CCI, NCLT, Sebi and the stock exchanges.

vodafone, idea, vodafone idea mergerThe much-awaited merger of the country’s second- and third-largest telecom operators — Vodafone India and Idea Cellular — is in the final stages with clearances relating to FDI and licence liberalisation among others pending, telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan said on Tuesday.

The much-awaited merger of the country’s second- and third-largest telecom operators — Vodafone India and Idea Cellular — is in the final stages with clearances relating to FDI and licence liberalisation among others pending, telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan said on Tuesday. “Idea-Vodafone merger is in final stages of approval because they have got the NCLT approval, Sebi clearances, but there are some FDI approvals that are involved, there are liberalisation of licence…so there are a number of clearances. It’s not a one-step clearance, there are a number of clearances. So, we are in the process of expediting that,” she told reporters on the sidelines of an event organised by industry body COAI on 5G services.

According to people in the know of the developments, the Department of Telecom (DoT) is considering the merger and will give clearance on the same by April. The merger has already been cleared by CCI, NCLT, Sebi and the stock exchanges. Last week, Vodafone and Idea announced the new leadership team of the merged entity. As indicated earlier, Kumar Mangalam Birla, the chairman of the AV Birla Group, will be the non-executive chairman. The two firms have named Balesh Sharma, currently chief operating officer of Vodafone India, the new CEO, who will be responsible for the combined business’s strategy and its execution as well as driving integration.

After the completion of the $23-billion merger, the contours of which were announced in March 2017, the combined entity will have total revenues of
over Rs 80,000 crore, 419 million customers, 35% subscriber market share and 41% revenue market share. The merger will be effected through the issue of new shares in Idea to Vodafone. The telecom secretary also said work on the national telecom policy (NTP), 2018 is in final stages. “I cannot give you the exact date. You need to ask the (telecom) minister. But we are in the final stages of doing the drafting before we take it to the Telecom Commission and after that it will go to the government,” Sundararajan said when asked about NTP’s status.

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