New Delhi: Vodafone, which directly owns 52% of its Indian mobile joint venture, is buying a 6% stake from two of its associates for Rs8.62 billion, the Economic Times reported on Wednesday.
Asim Ghosh, the former managing director of the venture who owns 4.68% of Vodafone Essar, and businessman Analjit Singh, who holds 7.58%, would sell 49% of their holdings to Vodafone, the paper said.
Vodafone took over the firm in 2007 by buying a controlling stake from Hutchison Telecom. To meet the foreign ownership limits, it took a direct 52% stake and had options over 15% held by Ghosh, Singh and infrastructure finance company IDFC.
A change in foreign ownership rules earlier this year, where indirect foreign investment routed through a company owned by Indians would be treated as local equity, made it possible for Vodafone to increase its stake, the paper said.
The paper cited an email from Vodafone saying both Ghosh and Singh wanted to exercise their options to sell a stake.