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Merger with Idea Cellular will complete in 2018, says Vodafone India head

Vodafone and Idea believe that the merger will enhance pan India 3G/4G footprint

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Merger with Idea Cellular will complete in 2018, says Vodafone India head
The merged entity will become the world's largest telecom operator
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The Vodafone-Idea merger would get completed ahead of its time in 2018, Vodafone India head, Sunil Sood said on Wednesday. 
Meanwhile, Idea Cellular has also called for a meeting on October 12 of its shareholders, secured and unsecured creditors according to the directives of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to seek the approval for the alliance of the telecom operator with Vodafone India.

The merger will facilitate VIL and VMSL's (Vodafone Mobile Services Ltd.) entire business to be vest in the company, excluding VIL's 42 percent share in Indus Towers. The merger will come into effect after new shares are issued in Idea to Vodafone and would result in Vodafone deconsolidating Vodafone India.

Vodafone and Idea believe that the merger will enhance pan India 3G/4G footprint, thereby accelerating the Narendra Modi-Government's 'Digital India' initiative. Furthermore, it is believed to help in leveraging customer affinity towards the two brands in the telecom spectrum.

The merged entity of Vodafone and Idea Cellular, which are India's number 2 and 3 mobile operators, respectively, will overtake Bharti Airtel in a bid to tackle a raging price war in the world's second-largest mobile market.

The British firm will own 45.1 per cent of the merged entity while the Aditya Birla group, Idea's parent company, will own 26 per cent after paying Rs 3,874 crore cash for a 4.9 per cent stake.

The merged entity will become the world's largest telecom operator and a leading communications provider in India "with almost 400 million customers, 35% market share, and a 41% revenue market share," according to Vodafone India.

(with inputs from agencies)

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