Companies

Etisalat gets a pie of India’s telecom market again

Our Bureau | | Updated on: May 15, 2022
Etisalat had earlier entered the Indian telecom market in 2008, which was cut short after the Supreme Court cancelled 122 telecom licences in the 2G spectrum allocation scam

Etisalat had earlier entered the Indian telecom market in 2008, which was cut short after the Supreme Court cancelled 122 telecom licences in the 2G spectrum allocation scam | Photo Credit: TOBY MELVILLE

A 10 per cent stake in Vodafone will give Etisalat an indirect stake of 4.67 per cent in the Indian entity

The United Arab Emirates-based telecom major Emirates Telecommunication Group will get an indirect entry into India’s telecom market after buying a 9.8 per cent stake in the British operator Vodafone Plc for $4.4 billion. 

Vodafone owns a nearly 47 per cent stake in Vodafone Idea, and around 10 per cent stake in the British telecom major will give Etisalat an indirect stake of 4.67 per cent in the Indian entity. Etisalat had earlier entered the Indian telecom market in 2008, which was cut short after the Supreme Court cancelled 122 telecom licenses in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

Etisalat shut shop in February 2012, affecting nearly 16.7 lakh Indian subscribers in 2012. At that time, the company stated that its future participation in the India market will be decided when there is “clarity on the spectrum auction process.”

While Vodafone Idea has been looking for a strategic investor at the moment, it is unknown if the UAE-based firm will be directly investing in Vodafone Idea. However, Hatem Dowidar, group chief executive of Etisalat, said, “Our investment represents a unique opportunity to acquire a significant stake in one of the leading global telecom brands and a company that we know well.”

“We are looking forward to building a mutually beneficial strategic partnership with Vodafone with the goal of driving value creation for both our businesses, exploring opportunities in the developing global telecom market and supporting the adoption of next-generation technologies.”

Etisalat was founded in 1976 and is the UAE’s oldest telecoms business. It has operations in nearly 16 countries across the Middle East, Asia and Africa, serving more than 156 million customers. 

Dowidar also said,“Vodafone is one of the leading businesses at the heart of digital communications in Europe and Africa with a compelling business offering critical connectivity and digital services.”

Published on May 15, 2022
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