Vodafone-Idea merger in final stages of approval, says DoT
27 March 2018
The proposed merger between the second and third-largest telecom operators — Vodafone India and Idea Cellular — is in the final stages of approval, Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan said on Tuesday.
The merger will create the largest telco in the country worth around $23 billion with 39 crore subscribers, overtaking Bharti Airtel. It would also be the largest by revenue.
According to a research note by CLSA Idea-Vodafone combine will have 43 per cent share of the revenue share and 40 per cent of the the active subscriber base.
the research note also said the two operators complement each other, with Vodafone having strong presence in urban areas and Idea being an established player in the interiors.
The merger has already been approved by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) as well as the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
Saying the merger proposals were in the final stages of approvals, Sundararajan said, "FDI approvals are involved and also liberalisation of licences... There are a number of clearances involved. We are in the process of expediting it," Sundararajan told reporters on the sidelines of a Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI) event.
Sundararajan also said that the Department of Telecom was in the final stages of drafting the new National Telecom Policy 2018, which will then be placed before the Telecom Commission for approval.
When asked when the new policy would be announced, she said, "I cannot give a specific date... but we're in the final stages of drafting the policy before we take it to the Telecom Commission. After that it will go to the government."