By Adria Calatayud
Vodafone Group PLC said Tuesday that it has agreed with Bharti Airtel Ltd. and Vodafone Idea Ltd. to proceed with completion of a merger between Indian telecom tower companies Indus Towers Ltd. and Bharti Infratel Ltd.
The U.K. telecommunications group said it will receive 760 million new shares in the combined company in exchange for its 42% stake in Indus Towers. This would be equivalent to 28.2% of the combined company, Vodafone said.
Bharti Airtel's shareholding in Bharti Infratel would be diluted to 36.7% from 53.5%. Bharti Airtel will jointly control the enlarged group with Vodafone, the U.K. company said.
Vodafone said its stake in the combined company would have a value of around 151 billion Indian rupee ($2.05 billion) at the current Bharti Infratel market valuation.
Providence Equity Partners, which owns a 4.85% shareholding in Indus Towers, has also elected to receive shares in the combined company, while Vodafone Idea has elected to sell its 11.15% interest for cash, the U.K. company said.
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