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market | IST

Vi shares plunge 15% as Vodafone CEO rules out fresh equity infusion

Nick Read, the CEO of UK-based telecom major Vodafone Group Plc, said the company has no plans to infuse fresh equity in the cash-strapped company.

The share price of cash-strapped telco Vodafone Idea nosedived 15 percent on Wednesday and hit a fresh 52-week low of Rs 6.03 after Vodafone Chief Executive Officer Nick Read ruled out further equity infusion in the company.
Read, the CEO of the UK-based telecom major, while acknowledging that Vi is going through tough times, clarified that Vodafone Group Plc has no plans to infuse equity to keep it afloat, Business Standard reported.
While he did not comment on Kumar Mangalam Birla's offer to sell the stake, Read reiterated what he said on July 23: "It is a highly stressed situation, a difficult situation that they are trying to navigate. I mean, we as a group try to provide them as much practical support as we can but I want to make it very clear, we are not putting any additional equity into India," he was quoted as saying in the report.
His comments came after the Supreme Court dismissed Vi and Airtel's combined plea for recalculation of the adjusted gross revenue dues.
The shares of Vi have been falling since Kumar Mangalam Birla, the Chairman of Aditya Birla Group, offered to sell his ownership in the telco to a government entity.
In a letter to the Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, he offered his Vi stake to a public sector unit (PSU), a government entity or any domestic financial entity or any other entity centre may consider worthy of keeping the company as a going concern.
Vodafone-Idea, in Birla's words, is at an "irretrievable point of collapse" if it does not receive immediate and active support from the government.
The company is trying to raise Rs 25,000 crore to sustain its operations and pay governmental and regulatory dues.
It has paid Rs 7,854 crore from the  Rs 58,254 crore it is expected to pay to the Department of Telecommunications. However, according to its self-assessment, it claims to owe only Rs 21,533.
At the time of writing, the stock was trading at Rs 6.41.