New Delhi: Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin on Friday apprised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of plans for rural expansion of Hutch-Essar, where his group is set to acquire a majority stake, and exuded confidence over signing a shareholder agreement with the Essar group.
Sarin called on Singh this morning before flying back to London in his own jet to round off his three-day visit to India, within days of clinching the deal with Hong Kong’s Hutchison Telecom for a controlling stake in Hutch-Essar.
Emerging from the Prime Minister’s residence, he told reporters he was convinced that Essar would remain a partner in the mobile venture.
Earlier, in a statement last night, following Sarin’s meeting with Essar Chairman Shashi Ruia, Vice Chairman Ravi Ruia and other directors, the Indian conglomerate had said it would take a decision on its position in due course.
“We will ensure that all of our shareholder rights, including under our shareholders agreement with Hutchison, are adhered to,” the group had said.
India-born Sarin today said Vodafone would discuss its investment plans with Essar while adding that “shareholders agreement with Essar will be hopefully signed soon”.
Sarin has already committed to invest two billion dollars in a “couple of years” for expansion of Hutch-Essar in India as part of efforts to become the country’s largest mobile operator with a target of 100 million subscribers.