Oaktree, Varde mull up to $2.5b investment in Vodafone Idea

India Gate. Photo: Abhidev Vaishnav/unsplash

A consortium led by US-based Oaktree Capital, including a few other private equity firms such as Varde Partners, has proposed investing up to $2.5 billion into cash-strapped Vodafone Idea Ltd through hybrid debt papers, sources aware of the matter said.

The consortium is said to have offered $2.0-2.5 billion of capital to the Birla group company that faces tens of billions of rupees in government debt.

Vodafone Idea had in September announced raising funds to the tune of 25,000 crore, through debt and by selling shares, even as it continues to lose millions of wireless users every month in an extremely competitive market. The process of fundraising is yet to start.

The telco has also been in talks with other potential investors to raise funds amid mounting losses and shrinking revenues. Mint had in September reported Amazon.com Inc. and Verizon Communications, the largest wireless carrier in the US, were to resume talks to buy a significant stake in Vodafone Idea for more than $4 billion.

On 1 September, the top court gave telecom operators ten years to pay off their AGR dues including interest, penalty and interest on penalty. The court directed telcos to make an upfront payment of 10% of their total AGR dues by 31 March, and clear the remaining debt in ten annual and equal instalments starting 1 April, 2021.

Vodafone Idea has paid 7,854 in AGR dues, but still owes more than 50,000 crore to the department of telecommunications.

At 0235 pm, shares of Vodafone Idea were up 0.4% at 9.24, while the benchmark Sensex fell more than 1% to 43,654.78 points. The stock had risen as much as 4.4% earlier in the day.

This article was first published on livemint.com.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.