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Govt to acquire Vi stake after share price stabilises at Rs 10 or above

The government will acquire a stake in debt-ridden Vodafone Idea after the stock price of the company stabilises at Rs 10 or above, according to an official source.

Vodafone Idea (VIL) board has offered a stake to the government at a par value of Rs 10 per share.

“There is a SEBI norm that the acquisition should take place at par value. Department of Telecommunication (DoT) will clear the acquisition after VIL shares stabilise at Rs 10 or above,” an official source told PTI.

VIL shares are trading below Rs 10 since April 19. The stock declined by 1.02 per cent to trade at Rs 9.68 on BSE on Thursday.

The finance ministry had cleared the proposal to acquire stake in VIL in July.

Debt-ridden Vodafone Idea (VIL) has decided to opt for converting about Rs 16,000 crore of interest liability payable to the government into equity which will amount to around 33 per cent stake in the company while promoters’ holding will come down from 74.99 per cent to 50 per cent.

The government has given telecom operators an option of paying the interest for four years of deferment on the deferred spectrum instalments and AGR (adjusted gross revenue) dues by way of conversion into equity of the NPV of such interest amount.

The company’s total gross debt, excluding lease liabilities and including interest accrued but not due, as of September 30, 2021, stood at Rs 1,94,780 crore.

The amount comprises deferred spectrum payment obligations of Rs 1,08,610 crore, AGR liability of Rs 63,400 crore that is due to the government and debt from banks and financial institutions of Rs 22,770 crore as of January 11, 2022– when it offered conversion of interest liability into equity.

At the end of the April-June 2022 quarter, VIL’s total gross debt (excluding lease liabilities and including interest accrued but not due) stood at Rs 1,99,080 crore, comprising deferred spectrum payment obligations of Rs 1,16,600 crore, AGR liabilities of Rs 67,270 crore that are due to the government, and debt from banks and financial institutions of Rs 15,200 crore. PTI

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