Mumbai: After over two-hour long parleys with Ruias, Vodafone CEO, Arun Sarin, came out looking relieved and ready for celebrations, as Essar decided to continue in Hutch-Essar where the British mobile company is acquiring a majority stake.
“Yesterday, it was Valentine’s Day, so we sent roses. Today is the day for sweets,” he said after an exhaustive meeting with Essar Group chief Shashi Ruia, Vice Chairman Ravi Ruia and others to smoothen the “wrinkle” in the carpet.
Vodafone had offered to buyout Essar from the venture at the same terms offered for Hutchison Telecom’s 67% stake in the JV company, but Sarin had said on 14 february he would like Ruias to continue as partners.“We are not going to exit the business. We will run it together,” Essar Group Vice Chairman Ravi Ruia told reporters after the meeting with the Vodafone team.
The talks between the two groups came in the backdrop of reports that Essar was unhappy over Vodafone’s announcement of network infrastructure sharing agreement with rival Bharti Airtel without consulting it. Reports had suggested that Essar was contemplating legal action.
The Vodafone chief said he respects Ruias-promoted Essar as partners.“I know Ruias from long ago. I respect their partnership. They have created value in the business. We are now trying to iron out issues and will take the business forward together,” he added.