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Essar, Hutch to wrap up cell revamp this week

Calcutta, May 6: Essar Teleholdings and Hutchison Telecom India are expected to complete this week a restructuring process that will replace four existing brands with a single umbrella brand.

On the way out are Orange in Mumbai, Cellforce in Gujarat, EssarCell in Delhi and Hutch in Calcutta.

The Essar Group will hold a 30 to 33 per cent stake in Hutchison’s Indian cellular operations.

Essar is Hutchison’s principal partner in the country and has the right to participate as an equity shareholder in Hutchison’s future venture here.

Saraf said the company had submitted a fresh proposal for tariff related to long-distance mobile to mobile calls and is awaiting clearance from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

Lottery punch

Essar Teleholdings will increase its stake in its online lottery venture from 10 per cent to 51 per cent. The company is launching its Fortune brand of online lottery in association with Computer Aided Information and Research Services on May 12.

Unveiling the Fortune brand, Vikash Saraf, chief executive officer of Essar Teleholdings, said, “We will invest around Rs 350 crore in the venture, of which around Rs 70 crore will be spent on advertising and promotional activities.”

Essar wants to achieve a turnover target of Rs 700 crore within the first year of operations. Almost 60 per cent of the ticket sales will be prize payouts.

The company has entered into an arrangement with NDTV to telecast live draws of the lottery.

The company will set up 10,000 Fortune terminals across the country within the next 12 to 18 months. The rollout across the 14 lottery-playing states will be completed by July this year.

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