Back in July, the Indian Department of Telecommunications (DOT) gave its go-ahead to the proposed merger between Idea Cellular and Vodafone India after both the companies jointly paid a sum of Rs. 7,268.78 crore to the Department for the merger to move forward.
The Idea-Vodafone merger has now been approved by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), clearing the last hurdle and allowing both the companies to create Indian’s largest telecom operator.
The newly merged entity will be listed as Vodafone Idea Ltd, and a new board will be constituted after the registration with the Registrar of Companies (RoC) is completed. A senior executive from the Aditya Birla Group confirmed that the NCLT permission had been granted and an official announcement will be made later.
The Vodafone Group owns 42.5% stake in the joint entity, while the Aditya Birla Group holds a 26% stake in Vodafone Idea Ltd.
According to information received from insider sources by EconomicTimes, operations of Vodafone Idea Ltd is reported to begin on September 3rd, 2018. “Today, we have created India’s leading telecom operator. It’s truly a historic moment. And this is more than just creating a large business. It’s about our Vision of enabling and empowering a New India and meeting the aspirations of the youth of our country”, chairman of the new board of directors, Kumar Mangalam Birla said.
Once they commence operations, Vodafone Idea Ltd will command a reach of about 15,000 branded stores and over 1.7 million retail touch points across the nation. The joining entity will kick off operations as the largest telecom operator in India with close to 400 million subscribers and a revenue market share of more than 32%.
The merger which leaves the Indian telecom market in a tripartite state, with Vodafone Idea, Reliance’s Joi and Airtel battling it out for supremacy. Analysts believe that this merger will again kick-start a bitter price war in the Indian telecom market and might further down the tariff prices.