Vodafone, Essar could be in rights dispute, source says

Vodafone is facing a tussle with new Indian partner Essar over management rights, sources, quoted by an Evening Standard report, said.

Reports said Vodafone is setting about finalizing its deal to acquire a 67% stake in Hutchison Essar from Hutchison Telecom for $11.1 billion.

However, the Essar group, which holds the other 33% of the joint venture, is reportedly looking for extra management rights and a bigger stake, the Evening Standard report said.

Essar insiders said the company wants to be 'an equal and prominent' partner in the venture and wants its shareholder rights to be protected, the report said.

It is looking to wrap up negotiations with Vodafone by the end of the week. The two new partners have been at odds over the issue of Essar's right of refusal in any stake sale.

Vodafone chief executive Arun Sarin, speaking in New Delhi last week, denied Essar's claim that it had a right of first refusal over the deal to buy a controlling stake in Hutchison Essar, raising fears it could resort to litigation in order to thwart or delay the deal.