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Vodafone Wins Bid for Indian Company

It reportedly will pay $11.1 billion for a majority stake in cellphone operator Hutchison Essar.



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has won a hotly contested auction for a majority stake in Indian mobile outfit

Hutchison Essar

, according to weekend media reports.

The move is an attempt by the British cellphone operator to tap into hotter markets as growth slows in its core European markets.

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Vodafone will pay $11.1 billion for a 67% stake in Hutchison Essar, according to

The Wall Street Journal

. Hong Kong's Hutchison Telecom, a unit of conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa, had put the stake up for sale several months ago.

India's Essar Group owns the other 33% of Hutchison Essar and had been in the bidding for the majority stake. It said in a statement that it had been approached by Vodafone to work as partners, adding that it was still evaluating its options.

The Wall Street Journal

reported that Vodafone also offered to purchase Essar Group's stake for the same per-share price it was paying for the majority stake.

Vodafone's American depositary shares lost 56 cents Friday to close at $28.95.