Vodafone India-Idea Cellular Merger To Create India’s Largest Telecom Operator

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Idea Cellular Ltd. agreed to merge Vodafone Plc’s Indian unit with itself to create the country’s largest mobile services operator in a competitive market disrupted by Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd.’s free services.

Vodafone will hold 45.1 percent of the merged entity, while Idea Cellular’s promoter, Kumar Mangalam Birla-led Aditya Birla Group, will hold 26 percent, according to a filing to stock exchanges.

Both Vodafone and Idea Cellular brands will continue, Vodafone Group Chief Executive Officer Vittorio Colao said in a press conference.

The combined entity will have a revenue market share of 41 percent, ahead of Bharti Airtel Ltd. (33 percent), and an annual revenue of over Rs 81,500 crore, according to data compiled by BloombergQuint.

The deal excludes Vodafone’s stake in Indus Towers but includes Idea Cellular’s holding in the telecom infrastructure provider. Vodafone and Idea own Indus along with Bharti Airtel.

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