U.S. Markets open in 7 hrs 52 mins

Vodafone wins final India approval for $1.6 billion deal to fully own unit

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Vodafone Group Plc won the Indian cabinet's approval for its $1.6 billion deal to buy out minority partners in its unit in the country, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said on Thursday.

Vodafone, which entered India in 2007 by buying Hutchison Whampoa's local cellular assets in a $11 billion deal, directly and indirectly owns a combined 84.5 percent of Vodafone India, the country's No.2 telecoms company by users and revenue.

Vodafone will buy an almost 11 percent stake in the unit from India's Piramal Enterprises, and the remainder held by investors including Indian businessman Analjit Singh, to own 100 percent of Vodafone India.

The deal was cleared by the Indian foreign investment regulator in December, but needed final approval from the cabinet.

($1 = 62.5350 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Nigam Prusty, Editing by Malini Menon)