The leadership team for their soon-to-be-merged entity, Vodafone-Idea, had been announced last week with Balesh Sharma as the new CEO and Kumar Mangalam Birla as the non-executive chairman.
As per telecom secretary, Aruna Sundararajan, the merger proposal of Vodafone-Idea entity is in the final stages. This merged entity will be the country’s largest telecom company.
Last week the two companies announced the top position holders of their soon-to-be-merged entity, naming Balesh Sharma as the new chief executive officer (CEO). As per Sundararajan, the merger process is in the final stages of approval.
The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has already given the green signal, she said. “FDI approvals are involved and also liberalization of licenses. There are a number of clearances involved. We are in the process of expediting it,” Sundararajan told the reporters during the event of Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) on catalyzing 5G launch in the country.
Vodafone and Idea, the second and the third largest operators in the country respectively, recently declared Kumar Mangalam Birla as the nonexecutive chairman of the merged entity.
The merger is expected to create India’s largest telecom operator in terms of customer base and revenue market share, is hoping to be completed by June this year, subject to statutory approvals, as per both the companies.
The replacement of the current first ranker Bharti Airtel by this joint venture was impending as the current operators are badly affected by the pricing strategies of the new entrant Reliance Jio, causing a price war in the industry.
The joint venture is estimated to be worth over $23 billion with a 35% market share. As per Sundararajan the telecom department is in the final stages of drafting the New National Telecom Policy 2018, and will, therefore, place it before the Telecom Commission for approval.
“I cannot give a specific date…but we’re in the final stages of drafting the policy before we take it to the Telecom Commission. After that it will go to the government,” she said.