Vodafone may select banks for India IPO this week - report - Mobile World Live

Vodafone may select banks for India IPO this week – report

25 APR 2016

Banks shortlisted by Vodafone to handle the initial public offering of its India unit will make presentations in the UK today, with a decision scheduled for Tuesday or Wednesday, Economic Times (ET) reported.

Interested banks previously made preliminary presentations to Rothschild, the adviser to the IPO.  Rothschild is mandated to keep the final selection down to four banks.

Currently, Goldman Sachs, Citibank, Morgan Stanley, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank are all in the running. The Financial Times reported last week that 15 banks in total were invited to make a bid.

The driver behind the IPO, expected to take place in June next year, is lowering the company’s debt, which is set to increase after a spectrum auction scheduled for later this year. Acquisition of spectrum could close the gap with number one operator Bharti Airtel. Vodafone is number two.

The ET report added that Vodafone and Liberty Global’s merger in the Netherlands could delay the IPO. In February they agreed to merge their Dutch businesses. Vodafone is to make a €1 billion payment to Liberty to equalise ownership in the Netherlands.

Vodafone has been mulling an IPO in India for years but had been held back by a long-running tax dispute with the Indian government.

India’s tax department said it would seize Vodafone’s assets after it served the operator with a reminder notice over an outstanding INR142 billion ($2.03 billion) tax bill, an issue dating back to 2007.

In February, Vodafone said it is committed to India and still enjoys a “constructive” relationship with the government.

Last month, Vodafone India signed a pact to acquire cable firm You Broadband for approximately INR4 billion ($60.4 million) as it looks to boost its fixed line proposition.

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Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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