Vodafone has confirmed its Indian unit is in discussions to merge with Idea Cellular, a deal that would create the Asian country's biggest telecoms firm.
In an unscheduled announcement, the telecoms giant said talks are under way with Idea's owner, the Indian conglomerate Aditya Birla Group, about an all share merger.
"Vodafone confirms that it is in discussions with the Aditya Birla Group about an all share merger of Vodafone India (excluding Vodafone's 42% stake in Indus Towers) and Idea.
"There is no certainty that any transaction will be agreed, nor as to the terms or timing of any transaction," Vodafone said.
Vodafone's shares rose 3.28% to 199.7p on the news, with the firm rising to the top of the FTSE 100.