Idea Cellular, the country’s sixth largest telecom operator by subscriber base, is in an advanced stage of negotiations to pick up BK Modi’s stake in Spice Telecom. Modi, who holds 40 per cent stake in Spice, is understood to be selling his entire stake, a banker familiar with the development said.
After buying out Modi’s stake, Idea will merge with Spice. The combined entity will be the fifth largest telecom operator in the country with a subscriber base of 29 million. Spice has operations in Punjab and Karnataka. Idea is yet to start operations there.
Both parties are expected to sign a deal on Monday. When contacted, Idea Cellular CEO Sanjeev Aga said: “I don’t want to comment on speculation.”
According to the banker, who spoke to HT, Telekom Malaysia, which holds 39 per cent stake in Spice, is also said to be discussing a deal with Idea. Modi, chairman of Spice Telecom, said: “Telekom Malaysia is talking to Idea, nothing is finalised.”