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Idea Cellular shares fall 6% after series of block deals

LiveMint logoLiveMint 28-02-2017 Ravindra N. Sonavane

Mumbai: Shares of Aditya Birla group’s Idea Cellular Ltd on Tuesday fell sharply after it witnessed a series of block deals in which around 120 million shares or 3.3% stake of the company changed hands. However, details of buyers and sellers were not known, according to a Bloomberg report.

On Monday, Bloomberg reported that Providence Private Equity arm P5 Asia Investments Mauritius is offering to sell 120 million Idea Cellular shares in the secondary markets via accelerated book-building offering. As of the December quarter, P5 Asia Investment holds 3.33% or 120 million shares in the company.

The shares were offered in the price range of Rs106.50-114.55 apiece for a total value of $190 million. Citi Group is the sole book running manager to the issue.

The stock fell as much as 6.54% to touch a low of Rs107.10 on the BSE. So far this year, it has gained over 49% on the news that it will merge with Vodafone. On 31 January, Vodafone Group Plc confirmed that it is in talks for a merger of its Indian unit with Idea Cellular.

The proposed merger will create the nation’s largest telecom firm with a combined revenue of Rs78,000 crore and a 43% share of the market hitherto dominated by Bharti Airtel Ltd, which reported an annual revenue of Rs50,008 crore from local telecom operations in the last financial year.

In 2006, Providence bought 15% stake in Idea Cellular for around Rs1,800 crore via its investment arm P5 Asia Investment (Mauritius) and since then it is paring this stake consistently.

On 3 June 2016, P5 Asia Investments Mauritius Ltd sold 125 million shares of Idea Cellular via a block deal on the NSE. Around 66.6 million shares were bought by Morgan Stanley Asia Singapore PTE at an average price of Rs110.41 a share.

On 4 September 2014, P5 Asia Investments Mauritius Ltd sold 8.50 crore shares of Idea Cellular via a block deal on the BSE. Around 18.9 million and 18 million shares were bought by Europacific Growth Fund and Capital World Growth and Income Fund Inc. at an average price of Rs166.30 and Rs166.30 apiece, respectively.

At 9.44am, Idea Cellular was trading at Rs111.65 on the BSE, down 2.6% from its previous close, while India’s benchmark Sensex index fell 0.03% to 28,805.25 points.

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