British communications giant Vodafone Group announced Thursday it had paid $5 billion to buy out its Indian partner Essar in their mobile phone joint venture. The deal will result "in a total cash payment of $5 billion" to the Essar Group and "final settlement is anticipated to be no later than November 2011," Vodafone said in a statement.
It added that the Essar Group has exercised its option to sell its stake in Vodafone Essar, as India's third-largest mobile phone company is known in India. Vodafone had a pact with the Essar Group that gave the Indian firm an option to sell its stake to the British-based company for $5 billion. The deal will give Vodafone 75 percent control of Vodafone Essar. Vodafone bought a 67 percent stake in Hutchison Essar for $11 billion in 2007.