Idea Cellular’ shareholders have now approved the proposed merger of Vodafone and Idea, according to a regulatory filing of Aditya Birla group. In a meeting held on October 12, 2017, 99% of Idea shareholders gave a nod in favour of the merger.
This news was reported by Press Trust of India (PTI). Currently, both Vodafone and Idea Cellular are looking for approval from the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on the merger, which will be followed by the approval from Department of Telecom (DoT). The merged entity of Vodafone and Idea will become India’s largest operator with highest market share. The proposed merger already received the nod from SEBI and CCI.
Right now, Vodafone and Idea are India’ second and third largest telecom operators with subscriber base close to 215 million and 190 million respectively. And the merged entity will have subscribers over 400 million, a highest for any operator. Bharti Airtel is the leading telecom operator in India at the moment with over 280 million subscribers under its belt.
Airtel recently merged with Tata Teleservices, and as per the agreement, the subscriber base of Tata Teleservices which is over 40 million will be moved to Airtel’s base, meaning that the subscriber base of Airtel will surpass 300 million. Also, Airtel will get Telenor’ subscriber base as well as per its merger with Telenor earlier this year.
In March 2017, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular announced a merger, which will create India’s leading operator worth more than $23 billion with a 35 percent market share. This merged entity will become a serious threat to Bharti Airtel, but with the recent merger with Tata Teleservices, Airtel is now up for the fight.
Under this merger, Vodafone India will get an implied enterprise value of Rs. 82,800 crores and Idea Rs. 72,200 crores. After the merger, Vodafone India will have 45.1% stake, whereas Idea Cellular will have 26 percent after paying Rs 3,874 crore cash for a 4.9 percent stake. And the remaining 28.9% will be held by other shareholders. The merger will be completed by March 2018.