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Grasim denies making ‘large investment’ in Idea Cellular

NEW DELHI, Feb 1:  Aditya Birla group firm Grasim Industrues today said it is not making any “large investment” into Idea Cellular as part of the proposed merger between Idea and Vodafone.

“The company denies the rumour that it would be making a large investment into Idea as part of the transaction being contemplated,” Grasim Industries informed BSE.

As on December, 2016 Grasim Industries has 4.75 per cent share in Idea Cellular.

According to Grasim, “regrettably” some of investors have raised concerns that to take the merger transaction between Idea and Vodafone forward, large investment would be made by Grasim into Idea Cellular.

“No such proposal is under evaluation by this board,” the company said.

It further added: “Grasim would like to clarify that its knowledge of the proposed Idea-Vodafone transaction is restricted to what has been put out by Idea Cellular in the public domain.”

On January 30, Britain’s Vodafone Group had said it is in talks to merge its Indian unit with Idea Cellular in an all-share deal to create the country’s largest telecom operator to compete with Reliance Jio that has unleashed a fierce price war.

The merger of Vodafone — the world’s second-largest cellphone network operator — with the Aditya Birla Group firm — India’s third-largest cellular operator would create a company with around 387 million users and form one of the largest telecoms companies in the world.

In a statement, the UK-based company had said it is in talks with Idea about an all-share merger, but the deal under consideration excludes its 42 per cent holding in Indus Towers, a joint venture with Bharti and Idea. (PTI)

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