Hutch goes to Vodafone

Vodafone has won the battle to take control of India's fourth largest mobile operator Hutchison Essar.

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By  Administrator Published  February 22, 2007

Vodafone has won the battle to take control of India's fourth largest mobile operator Hutchison Essar.

The UK-based wireless carrier has acquired a 67% stake in the firm, brand name Hutch, from Hutchison Telecommunications International.

The remaining stake belongs to the Mumbai-based Essar Group.

Hutchison Essar is seen as an attractive buy because of the fast growing numbers of cellular users in India. Only 13% of the population currently have handsets.

Vodafone beat India's second largest mobile operator Reliance Communications and the country's Hinduja Group in its fight to secure the stake for which it paid US$11.1 billion.

Vodafone will directly own a 52% stake in Hutchison Essar while the other 15% will be held by local partners in order to meet with Indian regulatory rules.

Vodafone already has a 10% stake in India's largest mobile service provider Bharti Airtel.

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