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Vodafone, UK agrees to acquire control of Hutch Essar in India


New Delhi, Feb. 11, 2007
Santosh Kumari

Vodafone Group headed NRI, Arun Sarin, has announced that it has agreed to acquire control of Hutch Essar in India. There will be a live webcast of an analyst and investor meeting being held on Monday 12 February 2007

It has confirmrd that Vodafone agreed to buy a 67 pct interest in Hutchison Essar Ltd for 11.1 bln usd plus 2.0 bln in debt, valuing the company at 18.8 bln usd. It is also said that it will acquire the stake through its subsidiary Vodafone International Holdings BC, and finance the deal through debt and existing cash reserves.

Vodafone will also make an offer to buy out Essar Group's 33 pct stake in Hutchison Essar at the equivalent price per share. The company said it has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Bharti Airtel Ltd on infrastructure sharing, and that it has granted an option to a Bharti group company to buy its 5.6 pct interest in Bharti for 1.6 bln usd.

Vodafone is the largest mobile telecommunications network company in the world, with equity interests in 27 countries and Partner Networks in a further 33 countries. At 31 December 2006, Vodafone had approximately 198.6 million proportionate customers worldwide.

The name Vodafone comes from Voice data fone, chosen by the company to "reflect the provision of voice and data services over mobile phones. Today, Vodafone had 200 million proportionate customers in 27 markets across 5 continents.

On 30 May 2006, the company announced a loss before tax of £14.9 billion for 2005, the biggest loss in British corporate history. The loss for the year from continuing operations was £17.2 billion and the bottom line loss for the financial year was £21.8 billion. The company was pushed into loss by impairment charges of £23.5 billion, which related to the acquisition of Mannesmann several years earlier, and losses of £4.6 billion in relation to its discontinued business in Japan.

Vodafone is understood to have emerged as the winner for majority stake in India's fourth largest mobile player Hutch-Essar, pipping Anil Ambani group's Reliance Communications, Essar and Hinduja Group.Vodafone’s winning bid stood at $19.3 bn



NRI, Arun Sarin, 49, chief executive officer of Britain's Vodafone

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