Axiata completes Vodafone Idea exit; Saudi PIF in talks to invest in Jio fibre

21 Aug 2020

Malaysia’s Axiata Group has sold its remaining stake in Indian cellco Vodafone Idea, the Economic Times reports, citing people familiar with the matter. The group had initially taken a 20% stake in Idea Cellular in 2008 but its holding, and the value of its stake, has steadily fallen over the subsequent decade. By the time of the tie-up with Vodafone India in 2018 its stake had slipped to 8.15% and was valued at around INR35.2 billion (USD470 million), but that fell to 2.48% when the company opted not to participate in the merged entity’s rights issue. The shareholding was diluted further still, and represented just 1.05% of Vodafone Idea by end-December 2019, by which date it was worth an estimated INR1.2 billion. According to the paper’s unnamed sources Axiata went on to exit Vodafone Idea in the quarter to 31 March 2020.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is reportedly in discussions to invest up to USD1 billion in the fibre assets of Indian telco Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio).

India, Axiata, Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio), Vodafone Idea (previously Idea Cellular)