Minority investor to divest stake in Vodafone India

Vodafone India’s largest minority investor is set to divest its stake in the business as the UK-based operator plans to take advantage of the country’s new foreign direct investment laws in order to take control of the company.

Piramal Enterprises, led by billionaire Ajay Piramal, is reportedly set to divest its 11% stake – equating to 45.4 million shares – for approximately $1.5 billion.

Piramal bought its stake in the company in 2012 for Rs1.290 per share.

India liberalised its foreign investment rules last year, with the reforms designed to allow foreign businesses to own 100% of their subsidiaries in telecoms, up from 74%.

Vodafone has already signalled its intent to acquire 100% of Vodafone India, and further signalled its belief in the Indian economy.

The company has run into troubles in the country in the past, and became involved in a $2.6 billion tax battle in 2007, linked to its acquisition of Hutchison Essar.

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