Centre to acquire Vodafone Idea stake after share price stabilises at ₹10 or above

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

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

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

VIL shares are trading below 10 since April 19. The stock declined by 1.02 per cent to trade at 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 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 1,94,780 crore.

The amount comprises deferred spectrum payment obligations of 1,08,610 crore, AGR liability of 63,400 crore that is due to the government and debt from banks and financial institutions of 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 1,99,080 crore, comprising deferred spectrum payment obligations of 1,16,600 crore, AGR liabilities of 67,270 crore that are due to the government, and debt from banks and financial institutions of 15,200 crore.

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