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Vodafone-Idea merger gets nod from the Competition Commission

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Shares of Idea Cellular jumped 7 percent today after the Competition Commission approved merger of Vodafone India and the company in a USD 23-billion deal that will create the country’s largest telecom operator. The stock opened higher and soared further by 7 per cent to Rs 98.30 on BSE. At NSE, shares of the company surged 5.61 per cent to Rs 96.95. Idea Cellular said the transaction is expected to close in 2018 subject to customary approvals.

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas and Co, which advised Vodafone in the deal, said the regulator has “unconditionally” approved merger of the telecommunications businesses of Vodafone India and its wholly-owned subsidiary Vodafone Mobile Services, with Idea Cellular. “The USD 23 billion transaction is the largest transaction by value in the history of Indian M&A,” it said in a statement yesterday.

A joint statement from the company said, “The combined company would become the leading communications provider in India with almost 400 million customers, 35 percent customer market share and 41 percent revenue market share.” According to the deal, Vodafone will hold 45 percent in the combined entity while Idea promoters will hold a 26 percent stake. Idea cellular approved the deal in March. The deal is expected to intensify the competition in the telcom sector in India.

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