Vodafone Idea on Monday announced its new unified brand identity by renaming all its products under a new name and logo “Vi”.
The announcement was made by the telco’s MD and CEO Ravinder Takkar, who said that “The brand integration not only marks the completion of the largest telecom merger in the world, but also sets us on our future journey to offer world class digital experiences to 1 Billion Indians on our strong 4G network… With Vi, we are confident of building a brand that continues to command respect and trust, and will be admired and loved by all.”
Takkar said the company, in the past, had not shied from raising tariffs, which are under forbearance but insisted that the regulator and the government should take a call on fixing a minimum floor price.
The stressed telecom firm on Friday had announced that it will raise up to Rs 25,000 crore through two methods – a. issue of equity shares by public issue, preferential allotment, private placement or qualified institutional placement (QIP), and b. through non-convertible debentures (NCDs), the telco informed in a BSE exchange filing. Both options of fundraising have a limit of Rs 15,000 crore each.
The proposed fundraising is subject to regulatory and shareholders’ approvals. Vodafone Idea will take up the proposal at its annual general meeting on September 30.
The upcoming fundraising will offer a lifeline to cash-strapped telco, which has suffered massive losses, has been losing subscribers and Average Revenue Per User (ARPU), and faces outstanding Adjusted Gross revenue (AGR) dues of over Rs 50,000 crore.
Vodafone Idea’s move comes after the Supreme Court last week allowed the telecom companies to stagger their payments of the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues over the next 10 years.
As per the SC ruling, the incumbent mobile operators will have to pay 10 per cent of their AGR-related dues by March 31, 2021. The court also said that the Managing Directors (MDs) or Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of these telecom firms would require to submit an undertaking to pay AGR dues as per the Supreme Court’s order.
Takkar termed the recent SC order for staggered payment of telcos’ dues as an “important step” and said “it will be something that will be very useful as we plan our journey for the next 10 years.”
Vodafone Idea, which faces a payment of more than Rs 58,000 crore, has only paid Rs 7,850 crore AGR dues till date. The telco will have to pay nearly Rs 1,128.4 crore as AGR dues every quarter for the next 10 years.
At 12:16 pm, the shares of Vodafone Idea were trading at Rs 12.28 apiece on the BSE, up 2.25 per cent from the previous close.
– with PTI inputs
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