While Vodafone has confirmed discussions with Idea Cellular for merger of the Indian telecom business, the company has no plans to exit the Indian market post the merger.
Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao confirmed that the company is indeed in talks with the Aditya Birla Group for the merger of its Indian telecom business arm with Idea Cellular. However, the executive revealed that the two companies are discussing about creating a self-funded Indian joint venture with equal rights. He also assured that the company has no plans to exit from the Indian market.
As per the Colao, the joint venture between Idea Cellular and Vodafone India would be the largest in India with the widest spectrum coverage and the best management team. The joint venture would be used to primarily take on Reliance Jio. However, both the companies are still discussing mechanics and agreements.
Regarding the future plans of Vodafone in the Indian market, Colao said that the company still sees long-term value in the country. With over 205 million subscribers in India, the company plans on sticking around in the unexpectedly competitive market.
Speaking about the plans, Vittorio Colao, CEO, Vodafone Group, said, “This is not an exit. This is about creating a stronger asset, create the No. 1 telco in the country…build the largest network in India and build the best management team through a combination of the two management teams. We anticipate intense competitive pressure in India in the fourth quarter and are taking a series of commercial actions.”