Vodafone India and Idea Cellular are all set for the mega-merger which will create the country’s largest telecom operator beating Bharti Airtel. Aruna Sundararajan, Telecom Secretary has stated that the merger between the country’ second and third largest telcos will “help in the early stabilisation of the sector.’ Speaking with ET, she stated that the government’s current aim is to improve the ease of doing business in the country, which is the reason why the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) was able to grant the approval of Idea Cellular’s 100% FDI request “fairly quickly.” We have been working in concert with DIPP and all other organisations, to ensure that we speed up matters as part of the ease of doing business,” the secretary said. For the unaware, DoT recently cleared Idea’s proposal of raising 100% FDI, which was proposed last month itself.
“Since the FIPB is no longer there, we have a new procedure. I think we have been able to do it fairly quickly. We hope that this (Idea-Vodafone merger) will help in the early stabilisation of the sector,” Sundararajan added on clearing the FDI request.
The merger is now awaiting the approval from DoT, which is expected to happen in the next couple of weeks as the telcos are expecting merger closure by the end of June 2018. The merged entity will begin the operations with close to Rs 63,000 crore as revenue, over 430 million subscriber base, 37% market share and 42% customer market share. Until now, Bharti Airtel has been the leader of India’s telecom market, but the merged entity will have over 100 million more subscribers than Airtel.
The Kumar Mangalam Birla-owned telco recently filed that Idea Cellular will become Vodafone Idea Limited. Idea Cellular is also planning to raise Rs 15,000 crore, which will help the merged entity. The telcos already announced that the management team and says ‘Future is Exciting’ for the consumers.