MUMBAI | KOLKATA: The whole world may have been slower than molasses in early January, still hungover from New Year celebrations, save for the trio at Aditya Birla Centre, the headquarters of the AB Group.
Sushil Agarwal, group CFO and Kumar Birla's consigliere, along with Saurabh Agarwal, investment banking rainmakerturned-Birla's strategy head, and Ashish Adukia, also a former banker who changed stripes to join the conglomerate as its corporate finance and M&A; head, flew from Mumbai to London to the Vodafone Group headquarters to kickstart a merger conversation that was seeded last summer but had petered out.
Waiting for them on the other side of the table was another seasoned banker — Pierre Klotz, a former HSBC and UBS veteran who heads M&A; at the world's second-largest telecom company, along with his team.
Both sides knew the negotiations would be intense before a result could be achieved even as the dynamics of the competitive industry were changing faster than anyone had ever foreseen. Only a "mother of an idea" could have salvaged the day.
News Courtesy: Economic Times
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