Department of Telecommunications gives final nod to Idea-Vodafone merger

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on Thursday gave the final nod to merger of Vodafone India with Idea Cellular, issuing a letter to this effect to both companies.

The Department of Telecom had given a conditional nod for merger of these companies on July 9 and asked companies to meet the demand raised for taking merger on record.

The combined operations of Idea and Vodafone – called Vodafone Idea Limited – will create the country’s largest telecom operator worth over Rs 1.5 lakh crore, with a 37.5 percent market share and a subscriber base of around 438 million (39 percent customer share).

The move makes Vodafone Idea Limited, the largest carrier in India by subscribers and revenue market share. With this merger, Bharti Airtel will lose the tag of India’s biggest telecom service provider to the new entity.

While Idea has given bank guarantee on account of one-time spectrum charges, the Vodafone India has given cash towards market price for non-auctioned airwaves held by India’s second-largest operator.

Vodafone will own a 45.1 stake in the combined entity, while Aditya Birla Group would have 26 percent and Idea shareholders 28.9 percent.

The final leg of formalities of the merger will be completed after approval of Registrar of Companies (RoC) for stipulated filings.


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