Vodafone says in Indian merger talks with Idea Cellular

Features Reuters

(Copyright Reuters 2017)

Vodafone said on Monday it was in talks to merge its Indian operations with rival Idea Cellular in an all-share deal that could help the groups counter the fierce competition in the market.

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In a short statement, Vodafone said it was in talks with Idea's parent, conglomerate Aditya Birla. It said any merger would involve Idea issuing new shares to Vodafone and would result in Vodafone deconsolidating Vodafone India.

Shares in Vodafone were up 3.5 percent in early trading.

(Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by William Schomberg)