Millennium Post

DoT awaiting investors detail from Voda-Idea for Rs 15K crore FDI plea

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

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

"There is no issue in Vodafone Idea raising Rs 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 said.

The board of Vodafone Idea in September 2020 had approved raising up to Rs 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 Rs 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.

Vodafone Idea 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 Rs 7,022.8 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2021.

Total income of Vodafone Idea declined by about 19 per cent to Rs 9,647.8 crore from Rs 11,920.4 crore in the corresponding quarter of 2019-20.

The gross debt (excluding lease liabilities) as of March 31, 2021 stood at Rs 1,80,310 crore.

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