Cash-strapped Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL) keeps on exploring various opportunities and options to raise funds, as per a board approval it received earlier on September 4, 2020. As and when such proposals are considered by the company’s board that warrant disclosures, the firm will comply with the regulations, Vodafone Idea (Vi) said in a regulatory statement.
In its board meeting held last year, Vodafone Idea got approvals to raise funds of up to Rs 25,000 crore. Last week, various newspaper reports stated that VIL was in talks with a host of private equity firms such as TPG Capital, Apollo Global and Carlyle Group to raise up to $1 billion. The company was also looking at divesting assets such as optic fibre and data centre to raise funds.
Vodafone Idea Needs Funds to Keep Running
VIL had a total debt of ?1,86,705.5 crore as of March 31, 2021. The operator also incurred losses of Rs 44,233.1 crore for the year ended March 31, 2021, and posted a negative net worth of ?38,228 crores.
VIL pared consolidated net loss to Rs 7,022.8 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2021, from ?11,643.5 crores recorded during the same period a year ago. The company’s auditor - S.R. BatliBoi & Associates LLP - had also raised concerns relating to the company’s ability to continue operations unless funds are raised.
There exists material uncertainty relating to the Group’s ability to continue as a going concern which is dependent on its ability to raise additional funds as required. The company continues to be in negotiations with lenders for continued support, refinancing of debts and monetisation of certain assets, among others, the auditor had said.
Earlier, consumer forum Telecom Watchdog urged the Government to reject VIL’s request for more time to pay Rs 8,292 crore of dues. The not-for-profit organisation has termed VIL’s request for one-year deferment to pay the dues as “illegal”, even as it called for a forensic audit of the firm’s last 10 years’ accounts.
Vodafone Idea might also be hoping for a favourable adjusted gross revenue (AGR) hearing where the telco’s dues might get reduced because, as per Vi, the government made errors in the calculation of the dues.