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Vodafone Idea, ATC Agree to Extend Rs 1,600-Crore Debentures Date Till February 28




Debt-ridden Vodafone Idea and its vendor ATC Telecom Infrastructure have agreed to extend the last date for a subscription of Rs 1,600 crore optionally convertible debentures till February 28, the telecom operator said in a regulatory filing. The proposal has lapsed in the absence of any response from the government on the conversion of interest dues into equity.

“…the Company and ATC have mutually extended the last date for subscription of the OCDs to 28th February 2023 or such later date as may be mutually agreed, subject to fulfilment of certain conditions precedent,” Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL) said in a filing.

The conditions for approval include the nod of VIL shareholders and conversion of interest liability on the company arising from the deferment of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) and spectrum dues into equity shares by the government.

Last month, shareholders of debt-ridden Vodafone Idea approved issuing optionally convertible debentures (OCDs) worth Rs 1,600 crore to ATC Telecom Infrastructure on a preferential basis to settle dues of the infrastructure vendor by converting the due amount into equity, if the amount remained unpaid in 18 months.

It was also subject to the approval of the government. VIL was of the view that by the time of issuing OCDs, the government would have converted the interest from deferment of adjusted gross revenue and spectrum dues owed by the company into equity.

However, the government has not converted the interest liability of VIL into the equity of the company. The government has given telecom operators an option of paying the interest in deferred spectrum instalments and AGR dues by way of conversion into equity.

VIL has opted for converting about Rs 16,000 crore of interest liability payable to the government into equity, which will amount to around a 33 per cent stake in the company while promoters’ holding will come down to 50 per cent from 74.99 per cent.

VIL has offered a stake to the government at a par value of Rs 10 per share and the government is waiting for the company’s shares to stabilise at Rs 10 apiece.

VIL has communicated its intent to fulfil the full amount of its contractual obligations commencing January 1, 2023, but ATC in a regulatory filing said it is uncertain if the debt-ridden telecom operator will be able to honour the same.

As on September 30 this year, the company’s total gross debt, excluding lease liabilities and including interest accrued but not due, stood at Rs 2,20,320 crore.

(With Inputs From PTI)

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