Vodafone applies to buy out Indian unit

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net
Vodafone has confirmed it is seeking approval to buy out the remainder of its Indian mobile unit under the nation's new relaxed foreign direct investment rules.
 
The company has filed an application with India's Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for a 101.41 billion ($1.65 billion) rupee offer to buy out minority domestic shareholders and take its stake in Vodafone India from 64.4% to 100%.
 
In a statement confirming its intentions, Vodafone added that it may inject additional equity capital in the unit once it becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary.
 
The transaction has been expected for some time. Earlier this month, Indian telecom minister Kapil Sibal revealed that Vodafone indicated it is ready to invest at least an additional $2 billion in Vodafone India.
 
India recently loosened its telecom investment rules, removing a 74% cap on foreign direct ownership of a local operator. But international investors still need approval from the FIPB for transactions that would raise their ownership beyond 49%.
 
SingTel this month became the first international investors to take advantage of the new regime, applying with the FIPB to acquire full ownership of SingTel Global (India), a company with national and international long distance telephony licenses.

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