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Vodafone told to deposit Rs.2,000 crore for merger of its 4 entities
The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Vodafone Mobile Services to deposit with the government Rs.2,000 crore under various heads, including one-time spectrum charge and licence fees, for the merger of its four entities Vodafone East, Vodafone South and Vodafone Cellular and Vodafone Digilink into it.
 
The apex court bench of Justice Jagdish Singh Khekar and Justice R. Banumathi while asking the Vodafone to deposit Rs.2,000 crore said soon after that the government would forthwith grant approval for the merger of four entities into VMSL.
 
It would be imperative for the central government to approve the merger forthwith after VMSL deposits the money, the court said observing in the course of the hearing that the "trivialist of the matters are being filed by telecom companies".
 
The court order came on the plea by the Centre challenging the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal's (TDSAT) November 6 order by which the telecom appellate tribunal had the DoT to "provisionally allow the merger of licences without insisting on payments of the impugned demands".
 
The government had asked the Vodafone Mobile Services to deposit Rs.6,678 crore in pursuance to its proposed merger of its four entities - Vodafone East, Vodafone South and Vodafone Cellular and Vodafone Digilink - into it. 
 
The amount of Rs.6,678 crore was the sum total of money that VMSL was asked to pay under different heads.
 
VMSL was asked to pay Rs.1,848 crore towards one time spectrum charges, Rs.880.58 towards spectrum usage charge, Rs.583.55 towards OTSC Rs.1,733 crore towards licences fees and interest on licence feee during the period of 2006-2011 etc.
 
However, the demand of Rs.6,678 crore by the DoT was contested by the VMSL which said that it had agreed to pay Rs.1,773 crore only.
 
Having directed the VMSL to deposit Rs.2,000 crore, the apex court asked the concerned courts and tribunals dealing with various disputes involving OTSC, SUC and the computation of AGR to dispose off the matters expeditiously. The court stressed on the urgency of the matter as a huge amount was involved.
 
The bench said that in case Vodafone Mobile Services Limited succeed, then the amount deposited by it would be returned to with an interest rate to be determined by the TDSAT.
 
Appearing for the Centre, Additional Solicited General P.S. Narsimha told the court that Vodafone on February 12 agreed to pay Rs.1,773 crore in pursuance to the merger scheme approved by the Delhi, Madras and Calcutta high courts in 2014.
 
ASG urged the court to direct the VMSL to pay undisputed amount of Rs.4,064 crore. He referred to the February 2014 guidelines under which spectrum was delinked from the licence and the operator was to pay separately at a market-determined price.
 
Referring to the apex court verdict of February 2012, ASG Narsimha said the acquiring company had to pay the difference between the entry fee that the company being acquired had paid at the time of entry and the market price of the spectrum.
 
However, this was contested by the senior counsel K.K. Vanugopal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi who told the court though there was merger of the companies but no transfer of licences and each one of them continue to operate in their respective sphere.
 
Appearing for Vodafone, they said the offer to pay Rs.1,773 crore was conditional and was not surviving today as approval for merger was not granted by March 9 as was sought then.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Pfizer buys out Allergan for $160 bn in mega deal
 In one of the biggest deals in the medical world, US-based global drug major Pfizer Inc announced acquiring leading Irish pharma firm Allergan plc for a whopping $160 billion.
 
"Boards of Pfizer and Allergan have approved to merge and become a single entity under Pfizer for $160 billion in stock transaction valued at $363.63 per Allergan share," the company said in a statement here on Monday.
 
Earlier, in a regulatory filing to the US Securities Exchange of Commission (SEC), both the entities jointly said Allergan shareholders will receive 11.3 shares of the combined firm for each of their shares and Pfizer stockholders will receive one share of the combined company for each of their shares.
 
"The proposed combination of Pfizer and Allergan will create a leading global pharmaceutical company with the strength to research, discover and deliver more medicines and therapies to more people the world over," Pfizer chief executive Ian Read said in a statement later.
 
The transaction represents 30 percent premium based on Pfizer's and Allergan's share prices as of October 28, 2015.
 
"The combination of Allergan and Pfizer is a strategic, value-enhancing transaction that brings two bio-pharma powerhouses to change lives for the better," Allergan chief executive Brent Saunders said in the joint statement.
 
The combination will give Pfizer financial flexibility to facilitate its discovery and development of innovative medicines for patients, return of capital to investors and investment in the US, while enabling its business development opportunities on a competitive footing in the industry.
 
Post-merger, Pfizer will maintain Allergan's Irish legal domicile, while having its global headquarters in New York and its principal executive offices at Dublin in Ireland.
 
"Our businesses will be enhanced with the addition of a growing revenue stream from Allergan's flagship brands in therapeutic areas such as aesthetics and dermatology, eye care, gastrointestinal, neuroscience and urology," Read asserted.
 
As per the transaction terms, the businesses of Pfizer and Allergan will be combined under Allergan plc, which will be renamed "Pfizer plc".
 
The companies expect that shares of the combined entity will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange and trade under the "PFE" ticker.
 
With the addition of Allergan, Pfizer will enhance its R&D capabilities in both new molecular entities and product line extensions.
 
In the event that the aggregate cash to be paid out in the merger would otherwise be less than $6 billion or greater than $12 billion, then the stock and cash elections will be subject to proration.
 
In the event that the aggregate cash to be paid out in the merger would otherwise be less than $6 billion or greater than $12 billion, then the stock and cash elections will be subject to proration.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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