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Vodafone in talks with investment banks for IPO: report


Vodafone India, the Indian subsidiary of the Vodafone Group, is in talks with investment bankers to launch its initial public offering, reports Reuters. The IPO is expected to raise anywhere around $2 billion and $2.5 billion. The report added that banks it was in talks with included Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.

Other banks approached by Vodafone included Bank of America Merrill Lynch, UBS Group as well as Indian banks ICICI Securities and Kotak Investment Banking, the report added.

Earlier it was reported that Vodafone would complete the IPO process by the end of Q4-FY16. The company had said that it would go ahead with its IPO plans in November in its earnings report. “We have recently begun preparations for a potential IPO of Vodafone India, subject to market conditions,” the company said in its earnings statement.

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 2014.

4G rollout

In February, Vodafone India completed the first phase of its planned 4G rollout under the 1800 MHz band with the launch of its services in Mumbai.  The company launched their 4G network under the 1800 MHz band in early February ‘16 in telecom circles: Delhi, NCR cities, Bangalore and Kolkata; as well as inKerala circle Kochi in Dec ‘15 & Kozhikode on Jan ‘16.

Vodafone mobile Internet

Vodafone India reported 25.9 million 3G Internet connections for the quarter ended December 31, 2015.  Average data usage per user for the quarter stood at 438 MB, up from 393 MB in the previous quarter. Vodafone’s total data connections stood at 66.5 million at the end of September 2015.

Payments bank licence

Vodafone’s M-Pesa also got an in-principle nod to set up a payments bank from the Reserve Bank of India in August 2015.  Vodafone M-Pesa active user base surged 45% q-o-q to 962,000. While the number of M-Pesa agents stood at 102,000. In 2013, it had launched M-pesa with ICICI Bank, and completed a pan-India rollout in May last year.

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