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The Ahmedabad bench of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has sanctioned the merger of Idea Cellular with Vodafone Mobile Services and Vodafone India.

 

“The scheme is genuine, and in the interest of the creditors and the shareholders,” NCLT said on Friday. Vodafone, meanwhile, is awaiting approval from tribunal’s Mumbai bench and the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

 

The $23-billion merger proposal that was announced on March 20, 2017 is expected to create India’s largest telecom firm and take on biggie like Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio). The merger has already received nods from Securities Exchange Board of India (Sebi), shareholders and the Competition Commission of India (CCI). The merger process is likely to reach completion by June this year.

 

The alliance will lead to economies of scale, rationalisation of network, infrastructure, creation of efficiencies and optimisation of capital and operational expenditure, including lower maintenance expenses and savings in energy costs, Kumar Mangalam Birla-led Idea Cellular said.

 

On Friday, shares of Idea Cellular closed 1.35% higher on the BSE at ₹108.60.

 

The Birla-owned company recently unveiled plans to raise ₹6,750 crore ahead of its merger with Vodafone India to pay debt and free up cash for expansion. Of this, Idea will raise ₹3,250 crore in its first tranche by issuing preferential shares at ₹99.50 a unit to four entities of the promoter group.

 

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