Vodafone India is considering a merger with one of the top telecom companies in the country following the launch of Reliance Jio, British newspaper The Telegraph reported. The report suggested that Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd led by Mukesh Ambani, which launched last year with schemes offering free data, voice and video calls, has given stiff competition to other telecom companies forcing others to reassess their business plans.
Jio or the Aditya Birla Group’s Idea Cellular are possible partners for the potential merger. “Jio and Idea could themselves combine,” the British daily reported, suggesting consolidation is likely within India’s telecom industry.
Experts, however, told Mint that Vodafone India will possibly go for a buyout instead of a merger with another firm. Smaller companies like Telenor India and Tata DoCoMo might also offer themselves up for sale to the big players, The Telegraph added.
Vodafone India has been meaning to list itself on the Bombay Stock Exchange since 2010, however, the plans have been tentatively delayed due to the current scenario in the mobile network market. In November, Vodafone India had written down the value of its business by €5 billion (more than Rs 34 crore) citing increased competition, Mint reported. Currently, Vodafone continues to be the second-largest telecom company in India, with Bharti Airtel in the first spot. Vodafone India in September 2016 had about 200 million mobile customers.