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Vi board meet on Apr 6 to mull preferential issue of shares

MUMBAI - Vodafone Idea Ltd said on Wednesday that its board will meet on April 6 to consider and approve the proposal for the issuance of equity shares or convertible securities on a preferential basis.

This comes after the telecom operator on Tuesday received shareholders’ approval to raise Rs 20,000 crore through equity linked instruments.

In the proposed fundraising by the company, promoters will also participate, Vodafone Idea had said.

Besides raising funds via equity, the cash-strapped operator is also engaging with its lenders for tying up debt funding.

Through the combination of equity and debt, Vodafone Idea plans to raise around Rs 45,000 crore. This will be primarily utilised to deleverage the balance sheet as well as to fund growth expansion.

Vodafone Idea has managed to grow its 4G subscriber base and average revenue per user (ARPU) consecutively for the last 10 quarters. The improving operating metrics has prompted the company to tap the market for raising funds.

As of December end, Vodafone Idea’s gross debt stood at Rs 2.15 lakh crore, comprising deferred spectrum payment obligations of Rs 1.38 lakh crore, AGR liability of Rs 69,020 crore due to the government, optionally convertible debentures amounting to Rs 1,660 crore, besides dues towards banks and financial institutions.

The company managed to trim its consolidated net loss to Rs 6,986 crore in the quarter ended December, from Rs 7,990 crore a year ago, and Rs 8,738 crore a quarter ago.

On Wednesday, shares of Vodafone Idea ended 0.8% higher on the BSE at Rs 13.55.