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Vodafone confirms merger talks with Idea Cellular in India

Vodafone Group Plc has confirmed media reports that it is in discussions to combine its Indian unit Vodafone India with rival operator Idea Cellular via an all-share deal.

The British telco said Jan. 30 that it is in talks with Idea Cellular's parent, Indian conglomerate Aditya Birla Group, but added that the talks may not lead to a deal.

The merger would be done via the issuance of new Idea Cellular shares to Vodafone, potentially resulting in Vodafone deconsolidating Vodafone India. The talks exclude Vodafone's 42% stake in Indus Towers.

Vodafone has reportedly also held talks for a potential Indian merger deal with Reliance Industries Ltd.'s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. It earlier delayed an IPO for Vodafone India.