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Vodafone India looking to launch IPO by end of Q4-FY16: Report

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Vodafone Group has reportedly revived its plan to launch an Initial Public Offering (IPO) for its Indian subsidiary Vodafone India next year, reports Moneycontrol.com. The report mentions that India’s second largest telecom operator is apparently looking to raise as much as $4 billion through this IPO, which would make it one of the largest ever in the country. Vodafone Group is expected to take a final call on the valuation by August 2015, and complete the IPO process by the end of Q4-FY16.

It’s worth noting that former Vodafone CEO Martin Pieters has said during the company’s Q2-FY13 earnings conference call that the company does intend to go for an IPO but was awaiting clarity on regulatory matters including spectrum fee, refarming, 3G ICR and other related developments. Later, in October 2013, the company put its IPO plans on hold due to lack of clarity regarding license extensions and pricing of spectrum. The company had also been entangled in a tax dispute case with the Indian government since 2013, which finally got resolved earlier this year. Vodafone Group had bought out Vodafone India’s minority stakeholders like Analjit Singh and Piramal Healthcare to acquire 100% stake in the company, in April last year.

Payments bank license: In February this year, Vodafone applied for a payments bank license with the RBI. The company said it’s exploring options for partnerships and would look to leverage its telco experience in the mobile payments space. Note that Vodafone subsidiary Vodafone M-Pesa Limited (VMPL) received a three year renewal of its prepaid wallet license in November last year.

Vodafone mobile Internet: Vodafone India added 2.8 million 3G Internet connections in Q4-FY15. At the end of the quarter, its total 3G Internet connections user base was 19.4 million, and its total mobile Internet connection base was 64 million. The telco’s blended mobile ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) for the quarter was Rs 184, marginally down 2.6% from Rs 189 in the previous quarter, while its average data usage per user for the quarter was 331 MB, up 6.8% from 310 MB in the previous quarter.

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