Piramal agress to sell Vodafone India stake for $1.48 bn

Posted on Apr 10 2014 - 2:08pm by IBC News

Piramal Enterprises Ltd said on Thursday it agreed to sell an about 11 percent stake it owns in the Indian unit of Vodafone Group Plc to the British group for 89 billion rupees ($1.48 billion).

The deal is part of Vodafone’s plan first announced last October to take full control of the unit for a total 101.41 billion rupees, following a change in rules allowing foreign companies to own up to 100 percent of Indian telecommunication carriers.

Vodafone, which entered India in 2007 by buying Hutchison Whampoa’s local cellular assets in a $11 billion deal, directly and indirectly owns a combined 84.5

percent of Vodafone India, the country’s No.2 telecoms company by users and revenue.

Vodafone received the Indian cabinet’s approval in February to buy stakes from its minority Indian partners — Piramal and Indian businessman Analjit Singh.

Piramal had bought the 11 percent stake in Vodafone India in two tranches during the financial year to March 2012 for 58.64 billion rupees. It is selling the stake to Prime Metals Ltd, which it said is an indirect subsidiary of Vodafone Group.

Piramal shares rose as much as 7.1 percent after the announcement.