UK's Vodafone Group will pay Analjit Singh about one-seventh of what it would pay Piramal for buying their stakes in Vodafone India, though the former's holding is more than double the latter's stake.
Vodafone is buying Analjit Singh-led firm's 24.65 per cent and Piramal's 10.97 per cent stake to make the Indian unit its fully-owned subsidiary.
"It has been observed that while valuation of 10.97 per cent shares held in VIL by Piramal is Rs 8,900 crore, valuation of 24.65 per cent indirect shares held by Scorpio Beverages Pvt Ltd is only Rs 1,241 crore," a source at a government agency looking into Vodafone Group's FDI proposal said.
No immediate comment could be received from Vodafone and Singh on the matter
Singh, who is Founder and Chairman of Max India, holds about 51 per cent stake in Scorpio Beverages Pvt Ltd (SBP) and Vodafone International holdings BV Netherland had earlier invested 49 per cent in the firm through its 100 per cent owned Mauritius based subsidiary CGP India Investment.
Vodafone Group is the first mobile service provider that has applied to buy entire 35.62 per cent stake held by Indian partners in VIL for Rs 10,141 crore.
While the Department of Telecom has raised no objection in the valuation of shares, Department of Economic Affairs and Foreign Investments Promotion Board will have to examine the matter before approving Vodafone's proposal.
FIPB today deferred the Vodafone proposal for its next meeting on December 9.
According to sources, Vodafone Group has justified the lower price being paid for 24.65 per cent of equity shares.
The UK major has told government agency that Vodafone holds minority interest in the holding company structure which have been approved by FIPB and holding company's discounts have been applied to the valuation, sources said.
It added that the subsidiaries of SBP have significant outstanding debts which are reflected in the transfer price being offered to Singh.
The UK based telecom major is bullish for Indian market which is among top five revenue contributors in the group.
Vodafone has plans to invest USD 3 billion in the next two years in its Indian telecom network.