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Vodafone Idea says no proposal from Amazon yet

Vodafone Idea (Vi), the third-largest telecom operator in the country, has confirmed that Amazon, a US-based e-commerce giant, has made no proposals for buying a stake or investing in the company in any manner. The company was giving clarification to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) about the news which surfaced saying that Amazon is likely to invest Rs 20,000 crore into the telco.

Vodafone Idea on Amazon’s Proposals for Investing Rs 20,000 Crore
Vi said that its board of directors had met on September 4, 2020, and approved a fundraise of up to Rs 25,000 crore, the intimation of which was already filed with the stock exchanges on the same date.

The company further said that it continues to explore various opportunities and options for raising funds within the authorisations given by the board. Whenever fundraising proposals are considered by the board of directors, Vi always complies with the disclosure obligations under the SEBI.
Thus, as of now, Amazon has made no proposal to invest in the third-largest telecom operator in the country.

However, it is worth noting that Ravinder Takkar, CEO of Vodafone Idea, had said that the telco is very close to raising Rs 20,000 crore. The investment (if any) would likely only come when the equity conversion process for the government is completed.

SEBI had exempted the GoI (Government of India) from making an open offer to the Vi shareholders. The regulator had said that GoI is not going to be a part of the decision-making process and will be completely silent in its role in the company.

The government is only taking equity against the dues that Vi owes and isn’t looking to convert the company into a PSU (public sector unit). One thing is for sure if Vi wants to survive, the telco needs to find an investor and make increase capex levels to what Jio and Airtel are spending. TelecomTalk

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