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Indian telcos continue to attract investment

India seems to be the place to be in. After the success of Jio Platforms, it is Voda Idea’s turn.

Google is looking for a 5 percent stake in the telco. If successful, the deal will put Google and Facebook in the same ring to battle it out for supremacy in India’s growing mobile internet market. The move assumes significance as Vodafone Idea Ltd, where Vodafone holds just over 45 percent stake, is staring at nearly Rs 58,000 crore in unpaid statutory dues. Vodafone Idea has been under severe financial pressure, and analysts time and again have cautioned that the telco’s longer-term viability remains under cloud. In December, Vodafone Idea Chairman, Kumar Mangalam Birla had said VIL may have to shut if there is no relief on the statutory dues.

With Mubadala Investment Company still in the running with USD 1 billion, and Microsoft Corp. negotiating an investment of USD 2 billion, Jio Platforms between April 21 and now has received a combined Rs 78,562 crore from five investments. KKR invested Rs 11,367 crore in Jio Platforms for a 2.32 percent stake, General Atlantic, Rs 6,598.38 crore for a 1.34 percent stake, Vista Equity Partners, Rs 11,367 crore for a 2.32 percent stake, Silver Lake, Rs 5,655.75 crore for a 1.15 percent stake and Facebook Rs 43,574 crore for a 9.99 percent stake.

The promoters of Bharti Airtel too have been opportunistic in selling some of their stock to retire debt at the promoter level. On May 26, the telco raised Rs 7500 crore by selling a 2.75 percent stake with 150 million shares.

CT Bureau

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