Shares of Vodafone Idea rose 7% on May 11 following a report that the company would unveil a turnaround plan within a month after the Government of India took a stake in the struggling telecom firm.
Speaking to Mint, Telecom Secretary K. Rajaraman mentioned that the company is in talks with financial institutions to raise funds for its 5G rollout plans. In contrast, the return of Aditya Birla group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla to the company’s board is a positive sign.
In February, the Centre decided to convert the company’s Rs 16,133.3 crore adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues into shares and become its largest shareholder. The company’s debt as of September 2022 stands at Rs 2.2 lakh crore.
The telecom minister said the government aims to ensure the revival of Vodafone Idea and maintain competition in the telecom industry. The government is preparing for the next spectrum auction in Q2FY24, which may include previously auctioned unsold spectrum and new frequency bands.
“We already have some unsold spectrum, for example, in the 600 MHz band. Apart from this, some candidate bands can be offered. We are in the final stages of discussions, and we may reference TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) within a month or two,” Rajaraman said.
Vodafone’s market value has fallen by more than 16% in the past six months but has risen by more than 17% in the past month. The stock traded 5.93% higher at Rs 7.15 on the NSE at 12:31 pm, while the benchmark Nifty was trading 0.048% higher at 18,323.90.