Modis mull exiting Spice Communications

Modis mull exiting Spice Communications
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First Published: Sun, Jun 08 2008. 03 05 PM IST
Updated: Sun, Jun 08 2008. 03 05 PM IST
PTI
New Delhi: Modi group, the promoter of telco Spice Communications that was mulling a stake sale from a long time, is likely to ink a deal with AV Birla group company Idea Cellular for selling its holding.
“After the sale of Modi group’s over 40% stake in Spice to Idea, the two telcos might be merged,” sources close to the development said.
Though Idea’s Managing Director Sanjeev Aga and B K Modi of Spice were tight-lipped about the development, industry sources said a deal is likely to be announced this week.
Earlier, during its annual general meeting Spice Chairman B K Modi had said he was open to all kinds of proposals for stake sale.
Though the exact value of the deal could not be ascertained, it is believed to be at least Rs60 per share.
Modi had said: “We are open to all offers... I have said earlier I would not like shares to be valued below Rs60. We will try to get the maximum for shareholders.”
The Indian telecom sector with about 269.30 million wireless users is seeing big-ticket mergers and acquisitions.
Currently, Modis have a 40% stake in Spice and Telekom Malaysia has a 39.2% holding.
Telekom Malaysia was also interested in increasing its stake in the company and is believed to be in talks with Idea.
Spice is also open to UAE-based telecom firm Etisalat and others having a stake in it. “Telekom Malaysia partners Etisalat and NTT DoCoMo in some markets,” Modi had said, adding that “if they want to bring them in as part of the deal (for taking stake to 74%), we are open to that.”
Modis have been considering to exit the business and focus on other core businesses for long. Spice has nearly 4 million subscribers in Punjab and Karnataka circles, where it operates. Idea is present in 11 circles.
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First Published: Sun, Jun 08 2008. 03 05 PM IST