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Vodafone to resume talks with Essar in 10 days

Vodafone is likely to resume discussions with Indian partner Essar on issues like management and share structure.

india Updated: Feb 16, 2007 12:57 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Vodafone which has won the bid for majority stake in Hutch-Essar, is likely to resume discussions with Indian partner Essar on issues like management and share structure within the next week or 10 days.

The issue of Right of First Refusal (RoFR) is also likely to dominate the agenda when the two meet again.

The two partners had met in Mumbai on Thursday and Essar Vice Chairman Ravi Ruia had announced that they would not exit the business.

Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin, who had said they would take the business forward together, will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday in New Delhi before leaving for London.

Sarin had arrived in India on Wednesday with an offer to buy out the Indian partner Essar at the same terms given to Hutchison Telecom for its 67 per cent stake in the mobile firm.

However, Sarin rules out paying a premium for picking up stake in the Indian partner.

Essar, which holds 33 per cent stake in the mobile venture was earlier understood to be unhappy with Vodafone not consulting it on network infrastructure sharing agreement with rival Bharti Airtel.

Sarin had also justified the agreement with Bharti Airtel on network sharing, saying: "We were working on a real time basis. Essar also made an offer when we made an offer (for buying out Hutchison's 67 per cent stake) and since we were involved in disengagement talks with Bharti, we also signed this MoU."

First Published: Feb 16, 2007 12:57 IST

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