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Vodafone confirms possibility of merger with Idea

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NEW DELHI: Vodafone Group Plc today confirmed that it was in discussions with the Aditya Birla Group about an all share merger of Vodafone India (excluding Vodafone's 42% stake in Indus Towers) and Idea.

Vodafone group general counsel and company secretary Rosemary Martin said, “Any merger would be effected through the issue of new shares in Idea to Vodafone and would result in Vodafone deconsolidating Vodafone India.”

“There is no certainty that any transaction will be agreed, nor as to the terms or timing of any transaction.”

Reacting to recent media speculation regarding a potential combination of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular (“Idea”), she said: “This announcement contains inside information.”

Although, earlier, there were reports that Vodafone may be seeking merger with Idea or Jio, experts believed a merger with the former was a possibility. Vodafone had launched several tariffs to browbeat competition from Airtel and Jio. The Indian unit is reportedly seeking a merger with one of the top telecom companies following intensified competition. Vodafone may be keen for a possible tie-up with Idea, Jio or another of the top three providers. Jio’s aggressive tariffs and heavy investments started impacting competitor a few weeks after it entered.

Also read:  Darwin effect: 3-4 telcos may Jio after potential M&As

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