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Idea Cellular approves merger with Vodafone India; stock rallies almost 15%

20 March 2017, 07:05 | Marlene Myers

The merged entity's subscriber base will be over 380 million or 37 percent of the industry, compared to Airtel's 262 million, while the revenue market share will be around 30 percent as same as Airtle's.

Idea Cellular, in a separate BSE filing, said it plans to raise Rs 500 crore through non-convertible debentures on a private placement basis.

The merged company will a revenues in the Rs 77,500- 80,000 crore range and the pretax profit margins will be around 28 percent, an India Rating report had said.

Shares in Idea rose nearly four percent in Mumbai following announcement of the Vodafone deal. Voda to own 45.1% in the combined entity while Birla's 26%.

Promoters of Idea and Vodafone will have the right to nominate three directors each, while Idea Cellular will have the right to appoint the chairman.

At present, Vodafone India is the country's second largest operator by users and Idea Cellular the third largest operator.

Vodafone's market share was 18.16 per cent with 204.68 million mobile customers and that of Idea was 16.9 per cent with 190.51 million at the end of December 2016, as per the Trai data.

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"Post such cancellation, the company shall issue an aggregate number of equity shares of the company to 50 per cent of the post issue paid-up capital of the company to the shareholders of Vodafone India", it said.

In the merged entity, Vodafone will own 45.1% of the company, transferring a stake of approximately 4.9% to the promoters of Idea and/ or their affiliates for Rs 38.74 billion in cash.

- Vodafone would have the right to appoint the CFO. The Board will include lndependent Directors.

Future equalisation of shareholding: Promoters of Idea have the right to acquire an additional 9.5% stake from Vodafone.

The British telecom major has brought its ex-India unit chief Marten Pieters to work on the proposed merger.

- If Vodafone and the Aditya Birla Group's shareholdings in the combined company are not equal after four years, Vodafone will sell down shares in the combined company to equalise its shareholding to that of the Aditya Birla Group over the following five-year period.

More details about the deal are awaited.



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