Videocon offer piques interest

13 Jan 2015

Following comments earlier this week that Videocon Group was open to selling up to a 49% stake in its mobile operator division Videocon Telecom, as well as relinquishing management control of the cellco, the group’s chairman Venugopal Dhoot has revealed that it has already received interest from an Indian telco and a Mexican company, the Economic Times writes. The two firms were not named, however, and Mr Dhoot clarified that any deal would have to wait for the government to clarify merger and acquisition rules, and would only take place after February’s spectrum auction. According to current M&A rules, a company acquiring another must pay the government market price for any of the acquired company’s spectrum, a condition which has so far deterred much-needed consolidation in India’s crowded wireless space. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, there are twelve operational cellcos in India (following the closure of Loop Mobile in November 2014), whilst a 13th, Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJIL), is due to launch later this year. Videocon is one of the smallest operators in the country, providing services in just four circles (although it holds licences for seven) and representing around 0.6% of the market at end-September 2014.

India, Videocon Telecommunications Limited (VTL)