Britain’s Vodafone Group will merge its Indian subsidiary with local rival Idea Cellular within two years, Idea said on Monday.
Vodafone will own 45.1% of the merged entity, after it transfers about 4.9% to promoters of Idea and/or their affiliates for Rs 38.74 billion ($592.15 million) in cash, Idea said.
Idea will have the sole right to appoint the chairman.
Shares in Idea rose as much as 14.25% immediately after the merger news but gave up gains to be trading up 3.8%.
The telecom industry in India is already reduced to a four players’ game — Reliance Jio being the new one, and Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea as the incumbents.
Marginal players such as Reliance Communications, Aircel and Telenor are already looking at probable consolidation.