Shares of Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL) fell more than 2% on May 17 after British multinational parent company Vodafone Plc said its investment in the India-listed company had a “zero” book value. As such, the group recorded no further loss share in relation to VIL.
“There is material uncertainty about VIL’s ability to make payments on any remaining liabilities covered by the Facility and, as of March 31, 2023, it is considered likely that no further cash payments will be made by the group,” it said.
The stock was quoted at Rs 7.20 on the NSE at 9:30 am, down 2.04% from its previous close. The stock has fallen more than 41.6% from its 52-week high of Rs 10.20 hit in May 2022.
Vodafone Plc added that the group’s exposure to potential liabilities within the VIL is limited and, therefore, no contingent liabilities arising from litigation brought in India in relation to Vodafone India’s operations were reported.
The Government of India is now VIL’s largest shareholder with a 33.1% stake, followed by Britain’s Vodafone Plc with 31%, Grasim Industries with 6.8% and Hindalco Industries with 1.5%.
In February 2023, the Government of India became the company’s single largest shareholder after converting interest on deferred spectrum payments into equity.
The stock rallied in April after Kumar Mangalam Birla returned to the company’s board as an additional director. All eyes are now on the board’s fundraising plan to help the debt-laden telecom company ahead of the country’s 5G rollout.
The return of Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla to the company’s board is a positive sign, Telecom Minister K Rajaraman said in an interview with Mint last month that the company was in talks with financial institutions to raise capital.
“We keep getting monthly reports on their subscriber base and other parameters, but what we want them to do is come back with resources – equity and debt – and we are waiting for their final communication. Now Mr Birla is back on Board, I hope they get back to us with their plans as soon as possible,” he said.