Essar asks for £700m more from Vodafone

City A.M. Reporter
India's Essar group is seeking $600-$700m, (£366-427bn) more from Vodafone to sell its 33 per cent holding in their Indian mobile joint venture to the British company, according to the Economic Times.

Last month, Vodafone said it would buy out Essar in a $5bn deal in the joint venture, Vodafone Essar, giving it direct ownership of 75 per cent of India's third-biggest operator.

Citing people familiar with the development, the Economic Times said Essar was demanding the additional amount based on a resolution by the Indian central bank that stipulates a minimum value for Indian shares in privately held companies.

Separately, the Business Standard newspaper said Essar was planning legal action against Vodafone for alleged violation of the shareholder agreement that governed the joint venture.

"We are bound by the confidentiality obligations under our agreement with Vodafone and , therefore, we would not like to comment," an Essar group spokesman told Reuters.

A Vodafone spokesman in London said the agreement announced last month between the two sides was legally binding, declining to comment further.