Government’s 33% stake may not save Vodafone Idea

The loss-making telco may have bought itself some time, but it still has to clear Rs 1.92 lakh crore in dues, roll out 5G services and stem the exodus of customers.

On 7 February, the government of India became the single largest shareholder in loss-making Vodafone Idea when it chose to convert the telco’s penal interest dues into equity. 

It was an ominous start.

The Rs 16,133 crore worth of dues, which fetched it a 33.4% stake, came at Rs 10 a share. This, at a time when the market value was Rs 7.95, meaning a notional loss of Rs 3,309 crore from the get-go. 

Though the government did not invest a rupee in cash for these shares and will not participate in the day-to-day affairs of the company (or even …


T Surendar

Surendar helps lead the newsroom at The Morning Context as executive editor. Over the years, Surendar has worked in industries from pharmaceuticals to diamonds, as well as a stint as an equity analyst. In his long career as a business journalist, he has led teams at The Times of India, India Today and Fortune India. He was part of the founding team at Forbes India and interned at and published in The Times, London.

Executive Editor