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Piramal to buy 5.5% stake in Vodafone-Essar for $640 mn

Piramal Healthcare would purchase 5.5 per cent of the "issued equity share capital of Vodafone Essar Ltd (VEL) from ETHL Communications Holding Ltd (Essar) for a cash consideration of approximately $640 million," Vodafone said in a statement.

twitter-logoPTI | August 11, 2011 | Updated 11:53 IST

British telecom major Vodafone on Wednesday said Piramal Healthcare would buy 5.5 per cent stake in Indian joint venture Vodafone-Essar for about 640 million (nearly Rs 2,900 crore).

Piramal Healthcare would purchase 5.5 per cent of the "issued equity share capital of Vodafone Essar Ltd (VEL) from ETHL Communications Holding Ltd (Essar) for a cash consideration of approximately $640 million," Vodafone said in a statement.

A Piramal Healthcare spokesperson when contacted declined to comment.

The latest Vodafone announcement comes more than a month after it reached settlement with Essar over the latter's 33 per cent in the joint venture.

"The transaction contemplates various exit mechanisms for Piramal, including both participation in a potential initial public offering of VEL and a sale of its stake to Vodafone," the statement said.

On July 1, Vodafone announced that it would pay $5.46 billion, as against $5 billion decided earlier, for purchasing 33 per cent from Essar in their joint venture VEL.

After buying Essar's 33 per cent, Vodafone's stake in VEL would rise to 75.35 per cent, exceeding the FDI limit of 74 per cent.

Vodafone had said that it would transfer 1.35 per cent stake to an Indian investor to remain compliant with the existing FDI norms in the telecom sector.

Vodafone had earlier this year objected to Essar's plans to transfer 11 per cent stake - held by ETHL - to another listed group firm India Securities Ltd. Essar's plan was aimed at ascertaining the market value of its stake in Vodafone Essar.

All the issues were sorted out after the settlement between Vodafone and Essar, which was announced on July 1.

Vodafone-Essar has a subscriber base of 141.52 million at the end of June.

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