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Google Eyeing 5% Stake in Vodafone Idea

Shares of Vodafone Idea, British telecom group jumped 35 percent when reports said that tech titan Google be exploring to take a minority stake in the company struggling India business.

Shares of Vodafone Idea, British telecom group jumped 35 percent when reports said that tech titan Google be exploring to take a minority stake in the company struggling India business.

Currently, there is no proposal as reported by the media that is being considered at the Board," the company said in a clarification.


Alphabet Inc's Google is considering to buy a five percent stake in Vodafone Idea Ltd, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.

However, both the companies chose not to comment on the deal. 

The investment in Vodafone Idea will pit the search giant move’s against Facebook which has picked up a stake of $10 billion in Mukesh Ambani’s company Jio Platforms, the firm that houses India's youngest but biggest telecom company Reliance Jio.

At 3:22 pm the market stock was trading at 12.89 per cent higher at Rs 6.57 per share, while benchmark Sensex was up 0.60 per cent at 32,394.48 points. It had jumped over as much as 35 per cent in intraday trade to Rs 7.85.


The move is seen as of great significance as Vodafone Idea Ltd where Vodafone holds jover 45 percent stake is staring at nearly Rs 58,000 crore in unpaid statutory dues. These dues arose after the Supreme Court, upheld the Indian government's position on including revenue from non-core businesses in calculating the annual AGR (Adjusted Gross Revenue) of telecom companies, a share of which is paid as licence and spectrum fee to the exchequer, in October last year.

The Department of Telecom (DoT's), as per its own submission to the apex court earlier this year seeking relief in payment tenures, had put dues of three telecom companies Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and Tata Group at Rs. 1.19 lakh crore. 

Against this, Bharti Group had calculated its dues at Rs 13,004 crore, Vodafone Idea at Rs 21,533 crore, and Tata Group of companies at Rs 2,197 crore. In March, following an approval by the cabinet, an application was moved before the Supreme Court seeking its permission for the licensees impacted by the AGR judgement to pay the unpaid amount of the DoT calculated dues in annual instalments over 20 years. 

The market is been led by Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio, while Vodafone Idea has been under severe financial pressure, and analysts time and again have cautioned that the company's longer-term viability remains under cloud and is seeing if it can seek a revival. In December, Vodafone Idea Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla had said VIL may need to shut if there's no relief on the statutory dues.



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