Telenor in talks with Idea Cellular over potential sale

16 Dec 2016

Norwegian-owned cellco Telenor India has reportedly held talks with India’s third largest cellco by subscribers, Idea Cellular, regarding a potential cashless sale of the unit. The Economic Times quotes a source familiar with the development as saying: ‘The two companies have held negotiations for a transfer of all liabilities and assets without an actual payout.’ Another unnamed source noted that, given its existing debt burden of around INR360 billion (USD5.31 billion) and its recent INR127.2 billion spend on spectrum in October this year, Idea may be reluctant to take on Telenor’s liabilities of roughly INR37 billion in debt and deferred spectrum payments. For its part, Telenor is looking to exit the market as it lacks the necessary frequencies to offer 3G or 4G services but has refused to participate in recent spectrum auctions due to the inflated price of the airwaves.

India, Telenor India, Vodafone Idea (previously Idea Cellular)