Vodafone Idea (Vi, a struggling Indian telecom operator, is looking to raise up to Rs 12,000 crore via selling fibre assets and in-building solution (IBS). The fibre assets are worth Rs 10,000 - Rs 11,500 crore, while the IBS valuation could come to around Rs 500 crore, according to an ET report. Vi management said they will likely raise funds via potential investors by the end of the December quarter. However, there have been no developments around that so far.
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The report added that if everything goes well, the deal would be concluded soon. Vi would sell these assets and then lease them back for the long term, much like what IndiGo does with its aircraft. The deal with a US-based digital infra firm is not going to happen anymore. Thus, fundraising via investors is not going to happen for some time now. For now, Vi is hopeful of raising funds by selling its fibre assets and IBS.
While Rs 12,000 crore won't solve the issues of Vi, the telco would likely be able to invest in some new regions or expand mobile network infra to gain new 4G customers. Further, Vi could also use the funds to pay short-term liabilities and place orders for 5G equipment. Back in 2019, Vi tried to sell its fibre assets and data center business, but that didn't go through because of not getting on the same page about valuation with the potential buyer.
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One positive that Vi would take from the recent months or quarters is that for the September quarter, it lost the least number of users since the two telecom giants including Vodafone India and Idea merged to form Vi. But there are still liquidity concerns for Vi as there's a huge debt on its shoulders and in a few years, the government will start demanding the dues to be paid as the moratorium period ends.