GQG and SBI MF Mull Up to Rs 6,500-cr Investments in Vodafone Idea’s Rs 18,000-cr FPO: Source

GQG and SBI Mutual Fund are eyeing investments of up to Rs 6,500 crore in Vodafone Idea’s forthcoming Rs 18,000 crore Follow-on Public Offering (FPO), which is set to become India’s largest secondary offering.

According to sources familiar with the matter, investment firm GQG Partners, led by India-born executive Rajiv Jain, intends to invest approximately $500 million, while SBI Mutual Fund is considering an investment ranging from $200-300 million in the FPO. Both individuals, who preferred to remain anonymous due to the confidential nature of the plans, shared this information.

When approached for comment, both GQG and SBI declined, while Vodafone Idea did not respond to queries.

Vodafone Idea, burdened with debt, was established in 2018 through the merger of Vodafone Group’s India business with Idea Cellular in a deal worth $23 billion. With Vodafone holding over 25% stake, the company ranks as India’s third-largest telecom operator, trailing behind Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel, who have gradually eroded its market share in recent years.

The company announced earlier on Friday that the sale of new shares will take place from April 18 to April 22.

GQG and SBI Mutual Fund are contemplating investments under the institutional quota of what is poised to be India’s largest secondary offering. However, a final decision on their investments is pending.

Vodafone Idea aims to utilize the raised funds to bolster its 4G network, establish 5G infrastructure, and fulfill tax and dues obligations, as outlined in its regulatory filing this week.

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