Vodafone plans to infuse up to Rs 3,375 crore into debt-ridden Vodafone Idea

NEW DELHI: Promoter Vodafone plans to infuse up to Rs 3,375 crore into debt-ridden Vodafone Idea Ltd as part of the company’s proposed raising of funds worth Rs 14,200 crore.

Besides Vodafone, Aditya Birla Group plans to pump in up to Rs 1,125 crore, according to a regulatory filing on Friday.

The telecom operator will seek shareholders’ approval for raising up to Rs 14,500 crore as well as increase its authorised share capital to Rs 75,000 crore at its the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) to be held on March 26.

The board of Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL) has already approved the fund raising plan, which includes Rs 4,500 crore coming in from Aditya Birla Group and Vodafone, while the remaining amount of Rs 10,000 crore would be mopped up by way of equity or debt instruments.

As per the EGM notice, the company will seek the consent of the shareholders to offer, issue and allot up to 338.34 crore equity shares of face value of Rs 10 each for cash at a price of Rs 13.30 apiece, aggregating up to Rs 4,500 crore to the promoters.

Vodafone’s group firm Euro Pacific Securities and Prime Metals will subscribe to 253.75 crore equity shares. This will be 75 per cent of the total equity shares to be issued by the company on preferential basis, indicating a contribution of around Rs 3,374.9 crore from the British telecom major.

Aditya Birla Group firm Oriana Investments Pte will subscribe to 84.58 crore equity shares which is about 25 per cent of the preferential shares of VIL as part of the fund raise, implying a contribution of Rs 1,125 crore.

Currently, Birlas own more than 27 per cent stake in VIL while Vodafone Plc holds over 44 per cent shareholding in VIL.

VIL will also seek shareholders’ nod to increase the authorised share capital to Rs 75,000 crore, divided into 7,000 crore equity shares of Rs 10 each and 500 crore preference share of Rs 10 each.

Telecom service providers, VIL in particular, got a shot in the arm with the government last year approving a blockbuster relief package that included a four-year break for companies from paying statutory dues, permission to share scarce airwaves and 100 per cent foreign investment through the automatic route.

The government had also given telcos the option to convert the interest amount pertaining to the moratorium period into equity.

Subsequently, VIL opted to pay interest dues of around Rs 16,000 crore through preferential shares and the move will result in the government holding 35.8 per cent stake in the company.

The proposal is yet to be accepted by the government.

VIL will also seek shareholders approval to appoint Krishna Kishore Maheshwari as non-executive director of the company.

Source: Press Trust of India

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