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Vodafone and Idea get NCLT nod to merge officially

The Vodafone–Idea deal is now official. The National Company Law Tribunal has capped off a series of regulatory approvals from the Indian government that has paved the way for what is now India’s largest telecom operator, Vodafone Idea Limited. The combined entity has a pan-India Revenue Market Share (AGR) of 32.2%, and a number one position in 9 circles, it said in a press statement.

The merged entity has a subscriber base of over 408 million based on numbers for both erstwhile telcos from June. The combined entity will have 37% of total mobile connections, at 433,907,360 connections, which is around 37% of the market in India. Airtel has 324,937,687 active connections, and Jio has 159,975,910 connections. These 3 large entities (Airtel, Idea–Voda and Jio) will hold 78% of the total market.

The Vodafone–Idea merger has already received final approval from the DoT (July 2018), after another DoT nod for 100% FDI (June 2018), statutory approvals from SEBI (August 2017), NSE, BSE, CCI (July 2017), National Company Law Tribune Mumbai and National Company Law Tribune Ahmedabad.

The company will be led by Balesh Sharma as CEO. Sharma is a decades-long Vodafone veteran, having headed the company’s operations in Malta and the Czech Republic, and most recently serving as its COO in India.

Financial details

  • The company said that the merger is expected to generate Rs 140 billion annually, spending Rs 84 billion, equivalent to a net present value of approximately Rs 700 billion.
  • The equity infusion of Rs 67.5 billion at Idea and Rs 86 billion at Vodafone coupled with monetization of standalone towers of both companies for an enterprise value of Rs 78.5 billion, provides the company a cash balance of over Rs 193 billion, post payout of Rs 39 billion to the DoT.
  • Additionally, the Company has an option to monetise an 11.15% stake in Indus Towers, which would equate to a cash consideration of Rs 51 billion.
  • As at 30 June 2018, net debt was Rs 1092 billion.

Shareholding, post merger

  • Vodafone will receive a 50% stake in Vodafone-Idea (approximately 3,630 million shares. 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
  • 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.


This will be the merged entity’s leadership to start with:

  • CEO – Balesh Sharma
  • CFO – Akshaya Moondra
  • COO- Ambrish Jain
  • Chief Enterprise Business Officer – Nick Gliddon
  • Chief Integration Officer – Manish Dawar
  • CMO – Sashi Shankar
  • CTO – Vishant Vora
  • Chief HR Officer – Suvamoy Roy Choudhury
  • Chief Digital Transformation Officer – Kavita Nair
  • Chief Strategy Officer – Navanit Narayan
  • Chief Regulatory & Corporate Affair Officer – P Balaji
  • Chief Legal Officer – Kumar Das
  • Chief Commercial Officer – Rajesh Srivastava

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Written By

I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



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