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Essar group to lay pre-conditions for Vodafone

Sources said that the group may look for enhanced role in the management of the joint venture, reports Indulal PM.

india Updated: Feb 14, 2007 01:12 IST
Indulal PM

The Ruias of Essar group will lay a few pre-conditions before agreeing to partner with Vodafone in the telecom joint venture. Sources said that the group may look for enhanced role in the management of the joint venture. "We are meeting Vodafone team shortly.

Internally, we are discussing several options which include a more active role in the management of the telecom company," said a source close to the Ruias. Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa Ltd, which has sold its 67% stake toVodafone, was managing the joint venture with Essar.

Essar is likely to have a more vibrant relationship with Vodafone since the UK company had already stated that the presence of Essar in the joint venture will help the company to clear the regulatory hurdles. Essar currently has four members in the Hutch board—Vikas Saraf, Anshuman Ruia, Ravi Ruia and Prashant Ruia.

As per the current board-restructuring plan, Vodafone will replace all the eight Hutch nominees. The top management of the company is considering the offer extended by the Vodafone and a decision is likely to be made in a couple of days, sources said.

Essar currently owns 33 per cent stake in Hutch Essar.When contacted an Essar spokesperson said, "We are evaluating the offer made by Vodafone. They have said Essar will be the preferred partner. We have been given time and the matter will be decided in due course of time."

While announcing the multi-billion deal on Monday, Vodafone had made an offer that if Essar wants to exit from the business the British teleco intend to buy the 33 per cent stake at the equivalent price per share it agreed with HTIL.

First Published: Feb 14, 2007 01:12 IST