Shareholders of debt-laden cellco Vodafone Idea (Vi) have approved plans to issue shares worth INR16 billion (USD196 million) to American Tower Corporation (ATC) Telecom Infrastructure on a preferential basis, the Economic Times reports. Under the plan, Vi will clear its outstanding dues to the infrastructure firm by converting its debt to equity if the amount remains unpaid in 18 months. The company’s shareholders approved the programme that will see the issue of up to 16,000 optionally convertible debentures (OCDs) with a face value of INR1 million apiece, each of which may be converted to 100,000 fully paid-up shares in Vi at a conversion price of INR10.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Vi has also agreed to convert regulatory dues totalling around INR161 billion into a government stake of roughly 33%, but the conversion process has been delayed due to the operator’s low stock price. Meanwhile, the company is facing mounting pressure to clear dues with other infrastructure and vendor partners before it can begin to deploy 5G technology.