Debt-ridden Vodafone Idea (VIL) has decided to opt for converting about Rs 16,000 crore interest dues liability payable to the government into equity which will amount to around 35.8 per cent stake in the company, as per a regulatory filing of the telecom firm.
If the plan goes through, then the government will become one of the biggest shareholders in the company which is reeling under a debt burden of about Rs 1.95 lakh crore.
“…the board of directors, at its meeting held on 10th January, 2022, has approved the conversion of the full amount of such interest related to spectrum auction instalments and AGR dues into equity. The Net Present Value (NPV) of this interest is expected to be about Rs 16,000 crore as per the company’s best estimates, subject to confirmation by the DoT,” Vodafone Idea said in a regulatory filing.
The government has given telecom operators an option of paying interest for the 4 years of deferment on the deferred spectrum instalments and AGR dues by way of conversion into equity of the NPV of such interest amount.
VIL said that since the average price of the company’s shares at the relevant date of August 14, 2021 was below par value, the equity shares will be issued to the government at par value of Rs 10 per share, subject to final confirmation by the DoT.
“The conversion will therefore result in dilution to all the existing shareholders of the company, including the promoters. Following conversion, it is expected that the government will hold around 35.8 per cent of the total outstanding shares of the company, and that the promoter shareholders would hold around 28.5 per cent (Vodafone Group) and around 17.8 per cent (Aditya Birla Group), respectively,” the filing said.
Shares of VIL were trading at Rs 12.55 apiece, down by 15.49 per cent compared to the previous, at the BSE in the morning hours.