"An Idea whose time has come"
9th March, 2007
Idea Cellular, an Aditya Birla Group Company, which is amongst the leading mobile operators in India, listed on the bourses today. It opened at Rs.85 on National Stock Exchange (NSE) and Rs.90 on Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). Idea now has around 4,86,000 shareholders, with the Group's holding in excess of 57 per cent. The paid-up share capital is Rs.2592.86 crore.
At an elegant ceremony at the National Stock Exchange on 9 March 2007, the listing of Idea happened. Ms.Chitra Ramkrishna, Deputy MD, NSE, Mr. Nimesh Kampani, Chairman, JM Morgan Stanley, Mr. Hemendra Kothari, Chairman, DSP Merrill Lynch, Mr. Sanjeev Aga, Managing Director, Idea Cellular Limited, Mr. G.P. Gupta, Director, Idea Cellular, Mrs. Rajashree Birla, Director, Idea Cellular and Mr. Anil Jhala, CFO, Idea Cellular, graced the occasion along with other directors and seniors from the Aditya Birla Group.
Addressing this august audience, Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman, Aditya Birla Group and Chairman, Idea Cellular, said:
"Today we celebrate an epochal moment in the life of Idea Cellular. A moment that comes but once in the annals of a company. We are delighted as this is also the first IPO by our Group in more than a decade. Today, we exult in the fulfillment of my father's dream several years ago. In the 1990s, when we forayed into the telecom sector, inking a joint venture with AT&T, he envisioned a great company in the making. A company that would some day be on the bourses.
This listing therefore is a major step for us, and a proud moment of fulfillment of aspirations that have been long cherished.
When I look back, I find that we have traversed a long way. Beginning with barely two licenses, today we have 13 licenses acquired through a combination of mergers, acquisitions and new circle roll outs. Idea is one of the leading and fastest growing mobile operators in the country today. It enjoys a very strong position in its eight established circles and is in fact either the number one or number two player in as many as five of these circles. Idea has got off to a solid start in its three new circles, viz., Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Eastern Uttar Pradesh, all rolled out in the last six months. We expect to launch commercial operations in Mumbai and Bihar within this calendar year.
Currently, Idea has a subscriber base of over 13 million and this is continually on the upswing. I am happy to inform you that throughout this period of dynamic and rapid growth, Idea has developed robust and sophisticated back-end and customer facing processes. Idea today is a brand that epitomises vim, vigour, innovation and customer care. A committed band of 4000 professionals of outstanding caliber anchor Idea, representing its future. As Victor Hugo commented and I quote, "There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come".
The response to our IPO has been truly overwhelming. The Idea issue was over-subscribed by over 50 times, even after including the green shoe option. The total demand was in excess of US$ 27.56 billion, in Rupee terms 1,12,000 crore. We are informed that this includes the highest institutional demand that has ever been received for any Indian capital market offering. We are particularly happy by the number of applications from our employees - which is a reinforcement of their commitment to our Group. The confidence, the faith and the trust reposed by the entire investor community, both Indian and global, in the Aditya Birla Group and in Idea Cellular, has been extremely gratifying.
Let me assure you that our endeavours to create shareholder value and to live up to your expectations will be unrelenting. As Idea marches forward in its journey as a listed company, aggressive and profitable growth, market leadership and innovation will continue to be its hallmarks. Needless to say, Idea Cellular is central to the Aditya Birla Group's plans and we will be providing unflinching support to it. We look ahead to a great future for Idea.
Our entire IPO team, the National Stock Exchange and a fraternity of brokers have worked seamlessly to make our IPO successful. We thank you all very much and gratefully acknowledge your support. We look forward to your backing in continuum as we move from this important milestone to reach many more in our forward journey."