Idea reluctant to pay Spice asking price

9 Jun 2008

In the latest development of the long-running saga over the ownership of Indian cellco Spice Communications, the Business Standard newspaper reports that B K Modi – owner of a 40.8% share in Spice Communications – is holding out for INR70 (USD1.64) per share before selling, and that rival operator Idea Cellular is reluctant to pay over INR60 per share. Shares in the cellco closed at INR52 on Friday, valuing the company at around USD850 million. Meanwhile, UAE based Etisalat has withdrawn from talks to take a stake in the company following a dispute over the price.