Debt-ridden Vodafone Idea's board will meet on Tuesday to discuss a proposal to issue Rs 1,600 crore debentures to mobile tower vendor ATC Telecom Infrastructure.
Vodafone Idea (VIL) and ATC had agreed to extend the last date to issue optionally convertible debentures (OCD) till February 28 after the shareholder's approval to issue the debentures lapsed in December.
"We wish to inform you that a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Company is scheduled to be held on Tuesday, 31st January 2023, in relation to the said preferential issue of OCDs to ATC and to convene the Extraordinary General Meeting of the Company to seek approval of the shareholders in this regard," VIL said in a regulatory filing.
The shareholders' nod to issue OCD within 15 days of approval of the proposal had lapsed in the absence of any response from the government on the conversion of interest dues into equity.
On November 21, shareholders of debt-ridden Vodafone Idea (VIL) approved issuing 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.
The OCD issue for ATC was subject to certain conditions, including the approval of the government.
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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.
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 of the NPV (Net present value) of such interest amount.
VIL has opted for converting about Rs 16,000 crore of interest liability payable to the government into equity, 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.
During the September 2022 quarter, ATC's largest customer in India VIL indicated that it would make a partial payment of its contractual amounts owed to the company under tenant leases for the remainder of 2022, including amounts owed for the three months ended September 30, 2022.
During the September quarter, the shortfall in payments from VIL to ATC totalled approximately USD 48 million (about Rs 392 crore).
ATC has said that it expects to defer recognition of a similar amount for the three months ended December 31, 2022, pending resolution.
VIL has communicated its intent to fulfil the full amount of its contractual obligations commencing January 1, 2023, but ATC 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.
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