Idea to demerge overlapping licences to new companies

19 Aug 2009

According to India’s Economic Times, mobile operator Idea Cellular plans to divest six wireless licences into two separate entities, with a view to selling the concessions at a later date. The moves comes after Idea obtained six overlapping licences following its acquisition of Spice Communications; under existing legislation no operator can own more than one licence per telecom circle. Idea will spin off its own licences for Punjab and Karnataka into a new company named Vitesse, while it will demerge Spice’s licences for the Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana and Maharashtra circles to Claridges Communications. The sale of the licences is understood to have been postponed as a result of their decreased value compared to two years earlier, and no provisional timeframe for the sale has been announced.