Vodafone Plc is the another owner of the financially weak telco, Vodafone Idea, apart from Aditya Birla Group. While the latter owns a 27.66% stake in the company, the UK-based group owns 45% in the company. As per the latest reports on the matter, Vodafone Plc has said that it would offer its stake to the lenders who are willing or to the public telecom company, BSNL, for free if they take over the company. The lenders have said on this issue that if BSNL takes over the entity then, the dues owed by Vodafone Idea would be a book entry. The lenders would also probably be converting their debt into equity in the process.
Vodafone Idea Shares Slide Amidst New Development
The matter comes to highlight from Business Standard and reported by ET Telecom. To recall, just a few months back Kumar Mangalam Birla, who stepped from the non-executive chairman seat of Vodafone Idea just a few hours back, had written to the Cabinet Secretary about his willingness of offer the ABG owned stake to the public telecom company. This hinted the first streak of weakness in the company’s financials from the shareholders' side. On the other hand, Vodafone Plc has also said that it won’t be infusing any more capital into the company. On Thursday, after the resignation of Birla, the shares of Vodafone Idea slipped more than 20%.
Firms Recommend Merger of BSNL and Vodafone Idea
Another financial firm, Deutsche Bank has already remarked that the government should back Vodafone Idea by quickly merging it with BSNL and recapitalising it. Speaking about the troubles that Vodafone Idea is facing, the telco owes Rs 96,270 crore in spectrum payment dues and Rs 58,254 crore in AGR liabilities.
Out of this, a little north of Rs 7,500 crore has been paid by the company already. A move that could have helped Vodafone Idea was the bringing of a floor pricing regime, the news of which has already been dismissed twice thus hinting that there would be no relief on the tariff front from the government. However, as per more reports on the matter, Vodafone Idea might receive a package from the government tailor-made for the entire industry consisting of redefined AGR to exclude non-telecom items and to change or let go of SUC and other levies.