The Essar Group and Vodafone Group Plc have decided on UBS AG as a third investment bank to help reach an independent valuation of their Indian joint venture, according to several reports which have however not been confirmed by the companies yet.
UBS's task would be to help the companies find a compromise on the valuation of Vodafone Essar Ltd.
Vodafone chief executive officer Vittorio Colao said this month that Vodafone had appointed Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Essar had appointed Standard Chartered Plc. The investment banks may submit a report in March.
Essar has an option to sell its entire 33-per cent stake for $5 billion to Vodafone, or it can sell a smaller stake at an independently appraised fair market value.
Essar, founded by billionaires Shashi and Ravi Ruia, is seeking a higher valuation of its stake in Vodafone Essar. The company may sell about 22 per cent in the venture before the window to divest the holding closes in May.
Essar may hold the remaining 11 per cent stake in a listed Indian company as part of an earlier agreement between both companies, the reports said.