Vodafone share price: Merger in India to be ‘next exciting chapter’
The proposed merger of Vodafone’s (LON:VOD) unit in India with local provider Idea Cellular will be the ‘next exciting chapter’ for the company, the FTSE 100 group’s chief executive has said. The company agreed the tie-up earlier this year as it looks to compete with new rival Reliance Jio.
Vodafone’s share price has inched marginally higher in today’s session, having added 0.08 percent to 209.15p as of 11:59 BST, slightly underperforming the benchmark FTSE 100 index which currently stands 0.32 percent higher at 7,309.25 points. The group’s shares have lost more than five percent of their value over the past year, but are up by some four percent in the year-to-date.
The Economic Times quoted Vodafone’s chief executive Vittorio Colao as saying in his speech at the India Mobile Congress today that the group’s proposed merger between its local unit and Idea Cellular will be next ‘exciting chapter’ for the company. If completed, the $23-billion tie-up is set to create the country’s largest telecom firm, which will be better placed to take on the threat posed by Reliance Jio.
Colao added that the company will look beyond voice, more into mobile data, in converse services, in cloud services, in IOT, and in machine to machine.
The telco will combine multiple technologies into one single machine network for digital connectivity and seamless high speed -called Unified Communication and roll it out in India.
“We offer unified communication in most parts of the world, we want to offer it also in India,” Colao pointed out, as quoted by the newspaper.
The news comes after Vodafone’s boss recently urged India’s government to resist pressure from Reliance Jio for a cut in mobile interconnection charges, arguing that the change would benefit the new telecom venture at the expense of incumbents.
As of 12:21 BST, Wednesday, 27 September, Vodafone Group plc share price is 209.10p.