JV partners could inject $375m to keep cash strapped Vodafone Idea afloat

Vodafone Group and Birla Group are considering the option of putting in more cash, as their beleaguered joint venture struggles under an enormous debt pile
Vodafone Idea, Vodafone Group, Birla Group, India, Telecoms

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Vodafone Idea could be set for a cash injection from its parent companies, as it looks to sort out its operational expenses and settle its AGR dues, according to reports in the Indian press.

A report by The Economic Times of India claims that Vodafone Group and Birla Group could inject an additional $375 million to help the beleaguered telco stay afloat.

While Vodafone Group could provide as much as $225 million, as much as $150 million could come from Birla Group, ostensibly through the private companies owned by chairman Kumar Birla.

Just six months ago, Vodafone Group CEO, Nick Read told journalists in London that Vodafone Group would not be putting any more cash into the JV, and that the onus was on the Indian government to devise a rescue package. Since then, the Indian government has granted a two year moratorium on spectrum payments but has refused the company’s request to repay its colossal AGR dues over a twenty year period.

Vodafone Idea is believed to owe around $7.6 billion (58,254 crore rupees) to the Indian government, comprised predominantly of the principle AGRE dues as well as numerous penalties and late payment charges. Last month, Vodafone Idea made payment of nearly $900 million (6,854 crore rupees) to reduce its debt.   

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