FIPB postpones decision on Hutch-Essar buyout

New Delhi: The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) has postponed its decision on Vodafone's application to acquire a 51.96-per cent stake in Hutchison Essar (to be renamed Vodafone Essar).

The aggregate foreign interest in the company will be 74 per cent following the completion of the overseas transaction.

The postponement is on account of the Reserve Bank of India asking for more time to send in its comments on Asim Ghosh''s and Analjit Singh's holdings (who together hold 15 per cent stake in the company).

It has also decided to have individual consultations with Vodafone, Hutch and Essar group (which holds a 33 per cent equity stake).

Earlier this month, the FIPB had written to the RBI asking whether Ghosh and Singh''s equity stake was compliant with FEMA regulations. It had also written to Ghosh and Singh on whether they had not broken the telecom sectoral cap for FDI which is at 74 per cent.

Analjit Singh and Asim Ghosh have told FIPB that shares are held by the companies which are 100 per cent owned by them, with unrestricted voting rights, and whose financial benefit which might accrue will be received only in India subject to the provision of capital gains tax and Indian laws.