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regular-article-logo Monday, 17 June 2024

Fresh lease of life for Vodafone Idea: Aditya Birla group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla

Birla said the massive oversubscription of the VIL issue underscored the tremendous potential of India’s digital story and attested to VIL’s critical role in that transformation

Our Special Correspondent Mumbai Published 26.04.24, 10:51 AM
Kumar Mangalam Birla

Kumar Mangalam Birla The Telegraph

Aditya Birla group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla said Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL) — the weakest player in the country’s telecom triumvirate — has received a “fresh lease of life” after it raised 18,000 crore through its recent follow-on public issue of shares.

“It marks the beginning of Vi 2.0,” Birla said at a ceremony to mark the listing of the new shares.

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The new VIL shares —which were offered at a price of 11 per share — opened at 12 on the BSE and 11.80 on the NSE, which amounted to a premium of 9 per cent and 7.27 per cent respectively over the issue price. But it was at a discount to Wednesday’s close of 13.09 on the BSE and 13.10 on the NSE.

At the close, the VIL share ended with gains of 6.11 per cent at 13.89 on the BSE. It settled at 13.80 on the NSE, thus showing an increase of 5.34 per cent over the previous close. A total of 1,05,555.41 shares changed hands in both the exchanges.

Birla said the massive oversubscription of the VIL issue underscored the tremendous potential of India’s digital story and attested to VIL’s critical role in that transformation. He said a nation of 1.4 billion people deserves three strong private sector players.

Birla stated that VIL is now a national asset with 215 million users and 8000 Mhz of spectrum. Further, the Aditya Birla group has remained commitment to the sector over two-and-half decades.

The Birlas and Vodafone Group have together invested 1.7 lakh crore. In the five-year period before the FPO, the two promoters stumped up more than 75 per cent of the 30,000 crore that VIL raised.

Birla said that proceeds from the issue will be used to widen and densify the network as well as launch 5G services.

He said VIL was now fairly “debt light” with only 4000 crore owed to banks.

“Vi will stage a smart comeback… this is a fresh lease of life for the company,” Birla said.

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