Vodafone Group said in a statement today (11 April) that it now fully owns its Indian subsidiary, after acquiring the 10.97 per cent stake held by minority investor Piramel Enterprises.
The UK-headquartered operator added it had acquired indirect equity interests held by businessmen Analjit Singh and Neelu Analjit Singh in March, which then took its Vodafone India stake to 89.03 per cent.
The combined cash consideration for both transactions was INR101.4 billion ($1.7 billion).
India last year eased its foreign ownership restrictions in local phone companies by removing the previous 74 per cent cap. Full ownership by foreign firms is now allowed.
According to the Financial Times, the Piramal deal values Vodafone India at INR809 billion, or INR1,960 per share. That’s a sharp rise from the INR1,290 per share when Piramal bought its stake a couple of years ago.
The full acquisition of the subsidiary is a demonstration of confidence in India by Vodafone, despite the shadow a long-running tax dispute with the country’s authorities.
In December, Vittorio Colao, Vodafone Group CEO, said $3 billion would be invested India over the next two years to expand networks and retail presence.