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Piramal sells stake in Vodafone India

Level 3 is spending $6.7bn on the deal

Indian conglomerate Piramal Industries has sold its 11 per cent stake in Vodafone’s Indian operation for almost $1.5bn, generating a 50 per cent return on an investment made during the 2012 financial year. The stake was sold to Prime Metals Ltd, an indirect subsidiary of Vodafone Group, Piramal said.

“The equity purchase in Vodafone was consistent with our objective of making investments that
offer opportunity to generate attractive long term return on equity” said Ajay Piramal, Chairman,
Piramal Group. “I am glad to say that we have delivered against our targeted returns with this
investment”.

The $1.5bn outlay adds to the $3.2bn that Vodafone spent in February on spectrum licences for 11 of India’s telecom circles. The UK-based operator acquired a total of 23MHz in the 900MHz band in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata and 49MHz in the 1800MHz band in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Karnataka, Kerala, Gujarat, UP East, Rajasthan, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh and Punjab.

The company said it has established a strong platform for 4G data services by buying 1800MHz spectrum in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Karnataka and Kerala, which account for more than 50 per cent of data revenues and are expected to drive the adoption of 4G, as was the case after the introduction of 3G services in 2010.

Vodafone India has over 160 million customers, with the number of mobile internet users increasing 38 per cent to 45.7 million according to its latest statements. Data usage also continues to grow strongly with 3G usage now averaging in excess of 700MB per month, the company said.

The 9th annual LTE Asia conference is taking place on the 15th-17th September 2014 at the Suntec, Singapore. Click here to download a brochure for the event.


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