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Vodafone Idea expects initial fundraising of Rs 7,500 cr by June end: Report

Vodafone Idea (Vi) expects to conclude its delayed fundraising, initially of about $1 billion (around Rs 7,500 crore), by June end, the Economic Times reported quoting people familiar with the matter.

The report also claimed that the cash-strapped telecommunication company has assured banks that it won’t default on its payments. On the other hand, public and private lenders believe that “the telco… will make it finally”, the report mentioned.

Among Vi’s local lenders are State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, IndusInd Bank, ICICI Bank, Yes Bank, IDFC Bank and HDFC Bank.

Recently, one of the public sector banks even extended a guarantee of about Rs 1,420 crore by another year to Vi that will be used to clear its remaining dues to the government for the 4G spectrum. Vi bought 4G airwaves worth Rs 1,993.4 crore in March and paid Rs 574.65 crore upfront, the report added.

A top executive of another bank that advanced a sizable loan to the telecommunication company told ET that Vi has assured them of raising some funds by June-end as due diligence by some of their investors is at a peak.

Vi first announced its Rs 25,000-crore fundraising plan in September 2020. According to the ET report, there are enough concerns over this as the telecom company hasn’t been able to conclude any deals after talks to potential investors such as an Oak Hill-led consortium — the US private equity firms like KKR, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec and Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global.

According to the industry experts, fundraising has been a challenge for Vi with its weak financial performance and rapid loss of users and the prospective investors want the co-promoters – the UK’s Vodafone Plc and India’s Aditya Birla Group – to infuse capital. However, both the promoters have decided against putting any additional equity in the loss-making company, the report explained.

Vi will have to pay Rs 50,400 crore of adjusted gross revenue dues to the central government over 10 annual instalments by March 31, 2031. Its annual instalments of about Rs 15,500 crore would start from FY23, once the two-year moratorium ends, according to the report.

In its third-quarter earnings notes, Vi said that loans due beyond 12 months amounted to Rs 8,691.9 crore as of December 31, 2020.

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