UK’s Vodafone Group Plc and its local partner Aditya Birla Group plan to tap private equity (PE) and pension funds to raise as much as USD 1 billion once they pump in USD 2.5 billion through a rights issue into Vodafone Idea Ltd, according to three people aware of the talks.
“However there is interest among several large investors, who feel that India’s telecom industry which has witnessed a bitter tariff war with the entry of Reliance Jio (Infocomm Ltd) may be heading for a truce,” the person said.
Vodafone Idea’s net debt stood at Rs. 1.2 trillion as of September, and rival Bharti Airtel stood at Rs. 1.15 trillion at the same period. Industry experts believe that it is urgent for Vodafone to shore up its equity base and upgrade the telecom network to hold its position as India’s largest telecom operator.