PE Prov­i­dence to Exit Idea, Sell Resid­ual 3.3%

The Economic Times - - Telecom: The Wide Spectrum - Our Bureau

Mum­bai: Pri­vate eq­uity firm Prov­i­dence is sched­uled to sell a 3.3% stake it holds in Idea Cel­lu­lar through a block deal on Tues­day, a term sheet showed. The deal will mark the PE firm’s com­plete exit from the tele­com com­pany.

Idea Cel­lu­lar’s shares have gained al­most 53% since the begin­ning of 2017 to close at .₹ 114.60 on Mon­day. Based on Mon­day’s price, a 3.3% stake is worth about .₹ 1,362 crore.

Cit­i­group is the sole bookrun­ner for the sale, which is priced be­tween .₹ 106.50 and .₹ 114.55 a share. The term sheet puts the value of the deal at $190 mil­lion (.`1,268 crore).

Prov­i­dence, through its in­vest­ment arm P5 Asia In­vest­ment (Mau­ri­tius), ac­quired 15% stake in Idea in 2006 for around .₹ 1,800 crore and has been sell­ing the stake in batches over the years. In June 2016, it off­loaded a 3.47% stake for .₹ 1,383 crore.

Voda­fone and the Aditya Birla Group that owns Idea Cel­lu­lar said on Jan­uary 30 that they were in talks for an all-stock merger. The pro­posed deal will cre­ate the coun­try’s largest telco, help­ing it take on the threat posed by Reliance Jio In­fo­comm and cur­rent leader Bharti Air­tel. The talks in­volve Voda­fone buy­ing fresh shares in Idea and de­con­sol­i­dat­ing its In­dia unit.

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