New Delhi: Revising the deal, UK-based Vodafone on Friday agreed to pay over USD 400 million more to its Indian partner Essar for buying its 33 percent stake in the joint venture Vodafone-Essar.

With this, Essar closed the deal to sell its 33 percent stake at USD 5.46 billion as against USD 5 billion decided earlier.

Essar had held 22 percent stake in the joint venture through its Mauritian arm and the remaining 11 percent through Indian subsidiary.

This means that Vodafone would take a further hit of over USD 400 million to buy out Essar's stake.

"Under the agreements signed in Port Louis, Mauritius, Vodaofone has made a net payment of USD 3.32 billion, after deduction of withholding tax of USD 0.88 billion," Essar said in a statement.

Vodafone and Essar have paid the tax even as both the parties continue to believe that no tax is due on this transfer. It was viewed as prudent to deduct and pay withholding tax on a without prejudice basis and they would claim a refund after following due process.

Vodafone also withdrew its tax dispute petition in the Authority for Advanced Ruling (AAR).
With this the 22 percent stake works out to be USD 4.2 billion as against USD 3.8 billion decided earlier. The shares have been transfered to Vodafone.

Similarly, the value for the 11 percent stake held by Essar through Essar Communications Holdings Limited has now been revised to USD 1.26 billion compared to USD 1.20 billion decided earlier. The transfer of shares would be completed after obtaining all necessary approvals expectedly by February 15, 2012.

Commenting on the deal, which has given over USD 400 million dollars extra to Ruias, Essar Group Chairman Shashi Ruia said, "We were one of the early entrants in the telecom space in 1995 and we are really pleased that Vodafone-Essar has grown to become one of the premier telecom companies in the country with over 140 million subscribers."

(Agencies)