Vodafone likely to tip extra $2b into India

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net
Vodafone is likely to invest more than $2 billion to buy out the minority shareholders of its Indian mobile unit, according to India's telecom minister.
 
Vodafone has indicated it is ready to make substantial additional investments in Vodafone India, according to telecom minister Kapil Sibal, as cited in various media reports
 
Earlier this year, the Indian government approved an amendment removing the 74% cap on foreign ownership of local telecom operators, and Vodafone wants to take advantage this.
 
Sibal's comments come weeks after three separate news services, all citing inside sources, reported that Vodafone was considering investing up to $2 billion to lift its stake in the Indian operator.
 
Notably, Vodafone and Indian officials still haven't resolved a long-running tax battle over the 2007 acquisition of Vodafone India from Hutchison. The company could be liable for billions of dollars in back payments if it does not negotiate a truce.
 
But if Sibal's comments are accurate, they show that the tax dispute, the uncertain regulatory climate and a crowded market haven't dissuaded Vodafone from increasing its commitment to the region.

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