Earlier this week, the much-awaited Supreme Court verdict on AGR dues is out. The apex court decided to give telcos a timeframe of ten years to clear the dues of Rs 1.4 trillion. As we all know, Vodafone Idea will have to pay over Rs 50,000 crore as the AGR dues in the next ten years. The financially struggling telco's board will be meeting on September 4 to discuss raising funds. A new Livemint report now says that Verizon Communications and Amazon.com have resumed their talks to purchase a significant stake in Vodafone Idea. The talks have been reinitiated again as the Supreme Court verdict is now out.
Verizon and Amazon Looking to Purchase Stake Worth More Than $4 Billion
It is said that the stake purchase talks were initiated way before, but they were put on hold for the Supreme Court verdict. While telcos and government were seeking for at least 15 years for repaying the AGR dues, the SC decided to offer just ten years. The Mint report also highlights that Verizon and Amazon US were looking to purchase stake worth more than $4 billion, and the talks are being carried out between both the parties.
However, when the publication reached out to three parties, there was no response. Earlier this year, it was reported that Google was in talks to purchase 5% stake in Vodafone Idea, but that did not happen as the search giant chose to invest a whopping $4.5 billion in Reliance Jio.
Vodafone Idea's board of members will meet on September 4 to discuss the fundraising options. The telco will have to pay Rs 50,400 crore towards AGR dues. Fundraising is the only option Vodafone Idea is left with as the telco's operations are hampered with heavy subscriber losses and COVID-19.
If not for the ten-year duration by Supreme Court, we would have seen Vodafone Idea exiting the Indian telecom market. Additionally, the telco might hike tariff prices to sustain in the market.