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Vodafone-Idea announce leadership for merged entity

Telecom service providers Vodafone and Idea have announced the details of the team that will lead the entity post the merger of the two companies.

Kumar Mangalam Birla will be the non-executive chairman of the board of the merged company. He is the chairman of Aditya Birla Group, Idea’s parent. Balesh Sharma, who is currently the chief operating officer of Vodafone India, will be the CEO of the new entity. Sharma will be responsible for the combined entity’s strategy, execution and integration. Both the companies have 3 director appointment rights each.

According to the Economic Times,  Aditya Birla Group will nominate Himanshu Kapania (current MD at Idea) as non- executive board member of the merged entity, while Vodafone India CEO Sunil Sood will join the Vodafone Group (Africa, Middle East, Asia, Pacific) leadership team.

Akshaya Moondra will be the chief financial officer. He serves the same position at Idea Cellular currently. Vodafone’s current CFO Manish Dawar has been given the responsibility of planning the integration, governance and execution.

Ambrish Jain, currently deputy managing director at Idea, who will be responsible for circles operations and service delivery. Vodafone’s current head of HR Suvamoy Roy Choudhury will be in-charge of HR functions. Idea’s CMO Sashi Shankar will be responsible for the marketing of consumer business in the new entity.

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“This is in line with the original merger announcement of 20 March 2017, which said that the management team of the combined business would be confirmed prior to closing,” the companies said.

The proposed deal has been approved by statutory body Competition Commission of India (CCI) in July 2017.  The deal received approvals from the Securities and Exchange Board of India in August 2017. Earlier this year, in January, it was also approved by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).

Last year in an investor presentation, Vodafone said that post-merger, it will receive a 50% stake in Vodafone-Idea (approximately 3,630 million shares. Once the merger is complete it will transfer a 4.9% stake in the combined company to Aditya Birla Group for $579 million in cash.

Vodafone will hold 45.1% ownership of the merged entity, while Idea’s parent Aditya Birla Group will have 26.0% share. Idea’s minority shareholders will hold another 28.9% ownership in the new company. The balance stake will be held by the public.

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