Vi seeks investment after promising quarter

Vi seeks investment after promising quarter

Vodafone Idea (Vi) confirmed that it is in talks with possible investors after its optimisation strategy showed promising early signs in its fiscal Q3 2021.

In a statement, MD and CEO Ravinder Takkar noted that “active discussions” about fundraising were underway after the operator’s board approved issuing shares with a value of up to INR150 billion ($2.1 billion) and debentures not exceeding INR100 billion. The Economic Times named investment group Oak Hill Advisors as a backer of one of the potential investors.

The final three months of 2020 saw “improved subscriber retention and operating performance” after Vi focused on boosting its 4G efforts, with Takkar noting that Ookla had ranked its data network as India’s fastest and regulator TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) had ranked its voice quality with its highest designation. “We remain focused on executing our strategy, and our cost optimisation plan remains on track”, said Takkar.

As reported by The Economic Times, Vi has added around 12,000 4G FDD sites to its network, largely through refarming 2G and 3G spectrum to expand its 4G capacity – a process which it started in its fiscal Q2. As of 31st December 2020, Vi claimed that its 4G network covered over 1 billion Indians, adding that its network investment initiatives were helping it to boost capacity and offer improved customer experience.

Across its fiscal Q3, Vi’s comprehensive net loss dropped from INR64.5 billion to INR45.4 billion, although revenue fell by INR2 billion to INR108.9 billion. It increased its total 4G subscriber base from 106.1 million to 109.7 million during the quarter. Additionally, Vi divested its holding in Indus Towers during this period.