Malaysia’s Axiata relinquishes major rights in Idea ahead of Vodafone merger

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Idea’s statement comes at a time when the telecom firm has received the government’s approval for merger with Vodafone. Photo: Bloomberg

Idea’s statement comes at a time when the telecom firm has received the government’s approval for merger with Vodafone. Photo: Bloomberg

New Delhi: Idea Cellular on Friday said Axiata, whose current holding in the company stands at over 16%, has relinquished “all major rights” including that of nominating a director on the board.

Idea’s statement comes at a time when the telecom firm has received the government’s approval for merger with Vodafone. The combination is set to create the country’s largest mobile phone operator worth more than $23 billion with a 35% market share.

Post the mega merger, Axiata’s holding is likely to reduce to about 8%. “We wish to inform you that Axiata vide its communication dated 15 August has relinquished all major rights available to it under the said agreement such as the right to nominate a director on the board of the company (including the audit committee) and the anti-dilution rights,” Idea said in a BSE filing.

Pointing to a share subscription agreement of 2008 signed with Axiata Group, Idea said the Malaysia-based firm, through its two wholly-owned subsidiaries, holds about 16.33% stake in the company along with certain rights.

In March this year, Idea had informed that Axiata Group’s nominee on its board, Hansa Wijayasuriya, had tendered his resignation with immediate effect. With that, Wijayasuriya had also ceased to be a member of audit committee of the board of directors of Idea, the company had said in an earlier BSE filing.

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