Merger with Idea on track for completion in 2018, says Vodafone CEO

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New Delhi: The merger of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular is on course and is expected to be completed in calendar year 2018, a top Vodafone official said today.

According to a PTI report, Vodafone India MD and CEO Sunil Sood said “absolutely”, when asked if the merger of the two telecom firms is on track.

He spoke on the sidelines of India Mobile Congress in New Delhi.

Stating that the merger process goes through various stages, including approvals from the CCI, Sebi, the NCLT and the telecom department, Sood said “we feel all of them are on track and in fact, we are going ahead on schedule”.

On the timeline for completion of the merger, he said it will happen by 2018, the report said.

Vodafone India, is an Indian subsidiary of UK-based Vodafone Group plc, the world’s second-largest mobile phone company. It is a provider of telecommunications services in India and has its operational head office in Mumbai.

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 USD 23 billion with a 35 per cent market share, PTI report added.

Under the agreement, Vodafone will own 45.1% of the combined company while the Aditya Birla Group will own 26% of the combined company and Idea’s other shareholders will own the remaining 28.9% stake.

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.

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