Vodafone Idea (Vi) co-parent Vodafone Group has no plans to infuse any more equity in the loss-making telco that has been trying to stay afloat. During an analyst call, CEO Nick Read acknowledged that the telco is going through a difficult time but ruled out any plans of putting in additional equity.
"It is a highly stressed situation that they are trying to navigate. We as a group try to provide them as much practical support as we can but I want to make it very clear, we are not putting any additional equity into India," said Read. The CEO was responding to a query on the group’s strategy for the company under duress.
The UK-based parent company did not, however, respond to Kumar Managalam Birla’s offer to sell his stake in the telecom. The billionaire businessman made the offer in June in a letter to Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba. Birla who holds 27 per cent in Vi said that investors are not willing to put in money in the company in the absence of clarity on AGR liability, adequate moratorium on spectrum payments and floor pricing regime above the cost of service. He said without immediate support from the government on these issues, the financial situation of Vi will come to an "irretrievable point of collapse”.
"It is with a sense of duty towards the 27 crore Indians connected by VIL, I am more than willing to hand over my stake in the company to any entity- public sector/government /domestic financial entity or any other that the government may consider worthy of keeping the company as a going concern," Birla said in the letter.
The Supreme Court in its July 23 ruling dealt a blow to the telco, confirming its liability at Rs 58,254 crore. It has, so far, paid more than Rs 7,800 core of the dues. VIL alongwith Bharti Airtel had approached the Supreme Court for correction in the government calculations.
In September 2020, VIL had received approval from its board to raise up to Rs 25,000 crore. However, the company has not been able to raise the funds so far.
(With PTI inputs)
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