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DoT awaiting investors detail from Voda Idea for ₹15,000 cr FDI application

The Department of Telecom is awaiting the details of investors from Vodafone Idea for clearing the telco’s ₹15,000 crore foreign direct investment proposal, an official source said on Thursday.

Debt-ridden Vodafone Idea (Vi) has sought government approval to raise ₹15,000 crore to fund its operations in the country.

“There is no issue in Vodafone Idea raising ₹15,000 crore but they need to provide investors’ details for the processing of the application. The final approval has to be given by the Cabinet,” an official source told PTI.

The board of Vi in September 2020 had approved raising up to ₹25,000 crore but the company could not go ahead with its fund-raising plans.

The board approval also included issuance of “unsecured and / or secured, non-convertible debentures” up to an aggregate amount of ₹15,000 crore, by way of public offering or private placement basis or otherwise, in one or more tranches.

The fund-raising will throw a lifeline to cash-strapped VIL, which has suffered massive losses, as it has been losing subscribers and average revenue per user (ARPU), and faces outstanding AGR dues of RS 50,399.63 crore as per government data.

Vi Managing Director and CEO Ravinder Takkar in a statement on June 30 had said, “We are in active discussion with potential investors for fund raising, to achieve our strategic intent.”

The company in the last quarter of 2020-21 had reported narrowing of its consolidated loss to ₹7,022.8 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2021.

Total income of Vodafone Idea Vi declined by about 19 per cent to ₹9,647.8 crore from ₹11,920.4 crore in the corresponding quarter of 2019-20. The gross debt (excluding lease liabilities) as of March 31, 2021 stood at ₹1,80,310 crore. PTI

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