Vodafone refutes claims that it objects to Essar’s IPO plans

26 Jan 2011

UK mobile giant Vodafone Group has claimed that it has not blocked India’s Essar Group from conducting an initial public offer (IPO) of the latter’s stake in their joint venture, Indian mobile network operator Vodafone Essar. According to Reuters, the British company issued a statement noting: ‘We have no objection if Essar wishes to go for an IPO of its stake in Vodafone Essar.’ Relations between the two stakeholders have arguably become strained in recent weeks over issues surrounding Essar’s desire to merge a firm that owns an indirect 11% stake in Vodafone Essar – Essar Telecommunications Holdings Pvt. Ltd – with another Essar Group firm, India Securities Ltd. Last year Essar said it wanted to list Vodafone Essar via an IPO, but claimed that its British partner had ‘ensured that the IPO did not go through and no market value could be established’. Subsequently, as reported by CommsUpdate last week, it was claimed that Vodafone Group had objected to Essar’s proposed merger, claiming that such a move ‘could be misinterpreted’ to indicate ‘fair market value of Vodafone Essar’, with the UK-based group noting that it did ‘not wish a company in which it holds a majority interest to become the subject of a false market.’

India, Vodafone Group, Vodafone India