Vodafone Idea (Vi) has approached State Bank of India (SBI) for a loan of Rs 15,000-16,000 crore to meet its capital expenditure requirements and fund its equipment procurement for 5G rollout, a report in Economic Times (ET) said
According to the report, the talks have been going on for over a month and SBI is waiting for clarity on the government’s potential stake in Vi, the report added.
“The team is in talks with Vi, but it is at a new stage … some clarity has been sought … on when the government will transfer the telco’s interest liability to its equity and business plans,” a bank official said. E.T. The bank is expected to go ahead with the plan only after clarifying Vi’s plans.
Vi’s net debt stood at Rs 2.2 trillion in the second quarter. In September, Vi made a short-term loan of Rs 2,700 crore to SBI. In Q1FY23, Vi’s loans to banks and financial institutes stood at Rs 23,400 crore. In Q2, revenue fell to Rs 15,080 crore. By September 2023, it has to pay Rs 9,300 crore to creditors.
According to the report, the main delay in the infusion by potential investors is due to the uncertainty over the government’s treatment of Rs 16,130 crore interest on outstanding adjusted gross revenue (AGR) charges. The government may convert debt into equity. But he’s also waiting for Vi to announce plans to burn capital before transferring.
Analysts said the government could become the largest shareholder of the company, which has 33 percent debt, if the money is converted to equity.
However, lenders are supporting Vi as he is focused on reducing his debt.