Vodafone, Idea agree on merger to create India mobile leader

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Mumbai - Vodafone Group agreed to merge its Indian unit with Idea Cellular to create a leader in the world’s second-largest mobile phone market.

Vodafone Group and Idea Cellular will initially equally own the venture. The European carrier will control 45.1% of the combined company after selling a 4.9% stake in the new entity to billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla’s holding companies, according to a stock exchange filing on Monday.

Birla’s companies will take a 26% holding, with the remainder being held by the public.

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