Delay in Merger Likely to Hit Idea-Vodafone in the Form of Revenue and Subscriber Base Loss

The Idea-Vodafone merger which will lead to forging of the biggest telecom operator of the country might be delayed due to the unforeseen development of DoT raising demands. This delay might mean customers and revenue losses along with some HR complications for both the companies, the experts say. It is noteworthy that the final date of the merger was decided last year in March itself. However, this new issue of DoT raising a demand might be dragged into court for the hearing which will become the cause for delay in the merger finalisation. The industry insiders spoke about this and hinted that the DoT is likely to raise a demand of Rs 11,000 crore.


Naveen Kulkarni, telecoms analyst at PhillipCapital also spoke: “Even a couple of months delay in the merger closure could see the combined entity suffering a 150 basis points (bps) reduction in RMS (revenue market share), which means it stands to lose Rs 600-1,000 crore revenue share for every two-month delay.”

The official also added that pushing the merger date ahead would mean that the strategies and network architecture which both the companies plan to upgrade, will also face delays. This would mean the loss of customers and revenue for the merger awaiting telcos. In the meanwhile, Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel being rival telcos might benefit from the incident.

A senior official in one of the merging firms suspects that the merger decision might be subject to some foul play which has triggered this unforeseen delay. He anonymously said to ET “The delay in merger closure is an unforeseen spanner. It may have been triggered by third-party vested interest.”

Another executive had contradictory thoughts and said that both Vodafone Group and Idea Cellular were capable of pulling off mega-merger and that the small delay wouldn’t have much of an impact. When questioned by ET on press time, both the merging companies declined to make any comment.

In the meantime, DoT is on the task of filing for the combined dues for one-time spectrum charges (OTSC) worth over Rs 11,000 crore. Experts are of the opinion that the delay would stall resources worth $10 billion of cost that the future Vodafone-Idea merged entity might make use of in order to get ahead of rival telcos like Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel.

When and if the demand is raised by DoT, Idea will be asked to furnish a bank guarantee while Vodafone will have to pay the sum in cash since the company wouldn’t exist after the merger.

Kulkarni of PhilipCapital said that both the companies “need to weigh the costs of the merger getting delayed versus producing the additional bank guarantees (BGs) that the government may seek as a pre-condition to clearance.”

Rajan Matthews, Director General of Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) also said that both Idea Cellular and Vodafone India would hurt from the delay and they will face problems in optimising their combined spectrum holding apart from a possibility of encountering HR issues as the experts have highlighted that the executives who would not want to be a part of the merged entity would have to be kept for an indefinite time period so as to keep the company running pre-merger.

Rohan Dhamija, head of India & Middle East at consulting firm Analysys Mason said “Asking people who’ve been fired to stay back indefinitely to meet immediate business-as-usual goals could lead to motivational issues and impact customer-facing functions such as sales, marketing and customer care that could make customer retention a challenge for both entities, pre-merger.”

In an attempt to save costs, reducing redundancy and boosting efficiency both the telcos might lay off as much as one-fourth of their total workforce consisting of 21,000 employees.

After the merger, Vodafone will initially own 45% stake in the combined entity with the Aditya Birla Group owning 26%. However, both will have equal ownership rights and, with time, the shareholding will be equalised as well.

Reported By

Leave a Reply

45 Comments on "Delay in Merger Likely to Hit Idea-Vodafone in the Form of Revenue and Subscriber Base Loss"


Sort by:   newest | oldest
July 1, 2018 10:52 pm 10:52 PM

Vodafone starts latching on idea cellular network in Rajasthan.. In this screen shot second sim is Vodafone

Nikhil Mumbai-Pune
July 2, 2018 2:56 pm 2:56 PM

Looks like Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 or Nokia 7 Plus.

July 3, 2018 7:41 am 7:41 AM

Asus zenfone

Nikhil Mumbai-Pune
July 2, 2018 2:55 pm 2:55 PM

Which phone?Honor View 10/Oppo Realme 1?

June 30, 2018 11:54 pm 11:54 PM

I wonder who stands to benefit and therefore has been trying to delay this merger… Hmm…!

July 1, 2018 12:51 pm 12:51 PM

Mittal will benefit the most .

Void death will be a big boost to airtel. They stand to benefit , as at least 30% of the void base will join airtel.

jio is by default going to get most port ins due to best price . They will grow & catch Airtel in few years.

June 30, 2018 6:58 pm 6:58 PM
In mature markets, usually only the #1 and #2 make money. #3 usually struggles. Rest are usually only in some pockets or lose money. Combine this with the situation in Indian telecom: 1. Switching network companies is easy and cheap, usually free for the user. 2. Users are value conscious and will not mind switching if value difference is significant. 3. Vodafone and Idea do not have the appetite to invest the required amounts in 4G and 5G battles. 1+2 also mean buying a telecom company in India does not automatically buy you their user base and revenues. So, how… Read more »
Nikhil Mumbai-Pune
June 30, 2018 7:58 pm 7:58 PM

I hope everything turns up unlike what you said.I won’t mind Avoid network becomes 4G only operator by 2022.

Nikhil Mumbai-Pune
June 30, 2018 11:16 pm 11:16 PM

I don’t understand your logic or criteria for selection.Why you criticize Voda-Idea always?

Kirti Delhi
June 30, 2018 11:44 pm 11:44 PM

Why do you cry about void B41 & 4G only under every post like Sudhakar does for 3G

Airtel Lover
July 1, 2018 11:43 pm 11:43 PM

He has stopped using his lucky group of 5 exclamation marks after each sentence. In some days he will even stop whining about b41. The kid is growing up fast !

Nikhil Mumbai-Pune
July 2, 2018 2:57 pm 2:57 PM

No I wont. Definitely I will post screenshots from it soon after it’s deployment in Pune.

Nikhil Mumbai-Pune
July 1, 2018 2:10 am 2:10 AM

There is no place for 3G in India after March 2020. Even there should not be 2G from AVOID. Only BSNL 2G should exist.

Nikhil Mumbai-Pune
July 1, 2018 2:07 am 2:07 AM

Yes it is not deployed everywhere.In Mumbai it is deployed and it provides good speeds. It is like Airtel 4G without band 40. I hope you understand. This delay tells us everything.

Nikhil Mumbai-Pune
June 30, 2018 11:14 pm 11:14 PM