Resource support

vodafone: Voda could sell its stake in tower co to support struggling Vi

NEW DELHI: Seeking to raise resources to fund the revival of beleaguered Vodafone Idea (Vi), British telecommunications giant Vodafone on Wednesday announced plans to sell about a quarter of its 28.1% stake in the infrastructure company of Indus Towers, while considering a full release in the future.
The company said it would offload 7.1% of the shares and plans to sell about 2.4% through a block deal. For the remaining 4.7%, Vodafone is believed to be in talks with Bharti Airtel, Indus’ largest shareholder (with 42% stake), which is expected to fetch around Rs 3,300 crore. However, the companies have not confirmed any of these discussions.
In a stock communication in London, the British telecommunications company said it had launched a placement of 63.6 million primary shares in Indus via an accelerated bookbuilding offer. He added that this represents 2.4% of Indus’ outstanding share capital. “Vodafone is also in advanced talks with one of Indus’ major shareholders for the purchase of up to 127.1 million Indus shares from Vodafone, representing 4.7% of Indus’ outstanding share capital, which represents the remaining balance of the primary shares,” it said. He said the terms of a potential deal are currently being discussed and there is no certainty the sale will proceed.
“If the sale were to be completed, Vodafone would retain 567.2 million shares of Indus, representing a 21% stake,” he said, adding that he was in talks with “several interested parties” to the potential sale of the remaining shares. “A further announcement will be made as soon as possible if further agreements are reached.”
Indus’ portfolio of over 1.8 lakh towers makes it the largest tower infrastructure provider in the country, with a presence in all 22 telecom circles. Indus Towers caters to all wireless telecommunications service providers in India.
Vodafone said that together with its Indian partner Aditya Birla Group, the companies have pledged to support Vi in its efforts to strengthen its balance sheet.
“The first step in this process involved converting $2. 1 billion AGR and equity spectrum interests, which will make the Indian government the largest shareholder in Vi. Vodafone and ABG intend to contribute to an issue of shares by Vi (a “capital increase”) once the terms of such a capital increase have been assessed and decided by Vi’s board of directors. . ”