Idea gets DoT nod to raise up to 100% FDI

Idea Cellular Ltd today said the telecom department has approved its proposal to raise foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in the company to 100 per cent, taking its merger deal with Vodafone towards aconclusion.

“Idea Cellular Ltd. has received approval on its application to increase foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in the company to 100 per cent, from the current 67.5 per cent, from the Department of Telecom (DoT) today. The approval is for total foreign investment up to 100 per cent in Idea Cellular Ltd, and total indirect FDI in its relevant subsidiaries – Aditya Birla Telecom Ltd and Idea Cellular Infrastructure Services Ltd,” the company said in a stock exchange filing.  
The FDI approval is the last in a string of major milestones in the merger process of Vodafone India with Idea Cellular, and follows other statutory approvals already received from Securities and Exchange Board of India, National Stock Exchange, Bombay Stock Exchange, Competition Commision of India and National Company Law Tribunal in Mumbai and in Ahmedabad.
The merger of Vodafone India with Idea Cellular is expected to be completed in the first half of this calendar year, subject to the final approval from the Department of Telecom, Idea said in its filing.
Post merger, Vodafone will own 45.1 per cent in the combined entity, while the Aditya Birla Group will have 26 per cent and Idea shareholders 28.9 per cent.
The merged entity will be known as ‘Vodafone Idea Ltd’. It will be the country’s largest telecom operator with around 430 million subscribers from day one.
Vodafone is the world’s largest and India’s second-largest telecom company while, Idea Cellular Limited is India’s third-largest wireless operator by subscribers with a revenue market share (based on adjusted gross revenue) of approximately 17.1 per cent of the Indian mobile telecommunications services industry (excluding wireline revenue for Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited) for the third quarter of 2017-18. 
Idea is listed on National Stock Exchange (NSE), and the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in India.
Idea is part of the Aditya Birla Group, which is one of the largest business groups in India. The Aditya Birla Group is a conglomerate with operations in 35 countries and has business interests in, among others, mobile telecommunications, financial services, metal and mining, cement, carbon black, textiles, garments, chemicals and fertilisers.