Kumar Mangalam Birla, the chairman of Aditya Birla Group (ABG), one of the promoters of the telecom company Vodafone Idea (Vi), met union telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw recently. Birla met with the minister to request to expedite the process of dues conversion into equity, reported CNBC-TV18. Because of the delays in the conversion, Vi has not been able to raise funds from external investors. The struggling telco has been waiting for the government to go ahead with the equity conversion for more than a year now. However, the government now has conditions before it picks a stake in the company.
According to an ET Telecom report, Vaishnaw, on Thursday, during the 5G launch event in Odisha, said Vodafone Idea has many requirements, and one particular requirement is funding. So who will add how much funds is something that needs to be looked at, said Vaishnaw. The minister said that the matter is under discussion at the moment.
The total dues that Vi would be seeking to convert into equity for the govt amount to Rs 16,130 crore, against which the government is estimated to get over 33% of the stake in the company. There were reports back in December 2022 which said that it would be hard for Vodafone Idea to survive if the telco couldn't raise funds in the short term. Thus the government and Vi need to sort the situation between them fast, or else it would be bad not just for the company but also for its subscribers.