Vodafone Idea surges 35% on report Google eyeing 5% stake, trims gain later

The telecom services provider's stock was trading at its highest level since March 16, 2020.
Shares of Vodafone Idea rallied 35 per cent at Rs 7.85 in the intra-day deals on the BSE on Friday, after reports said that the global technology giant Google is in talks to buy a 5 per cent stake in the company, owned by Vodafone Plc of the UK and Aditya Birla Group. The stock trades in the futures & option (F&O) segment, which has no circuit limits.

The telecom services provider's stock was trading at its highest level since March 16, 2020. Since April 1, the stock price has more-than-doubled from Rs 3.04, as compared to a 13.4 per cent rise in the S&P BSE Sensex.

Financial Times reported on Thursday that Google’s parent firm, Alphabet, had also held talks with RIL to acquire a stake in Jio, but lagged behind other investors like Facebook in securing a deal. A banker in Mumbai said Google was seeking a large stake in Jio, but could not get it.

The stock, however, trimmed gains later in the day, but continued to trade 12 per cent higher at Rs 6.53 apiece at 2:53 pm after the company clarified on the report.

"The Company constantly evaluates various opportunities for enhancing the stakeholders’ value. As and when such proposals are considered by the Board of Directors of the Company warranting disclosures, the Company shall comply with the disclosure obligations under the SEBI regulations. Currently, there is no  proposal as reported by the media that is being considered at the Board," it said in a statement. READ HERE

Analysts said the transaction could prove to be a lifeline for Vodafone Idea, which has been ordered by the Supreme Court to pay Rs 53,000 crore in adjusted gross revenues dues to the government. “Though the Google investment is minuscule and will not move the needle, it will attract other investors in the company and be a morale booster,” said a banker.

Vodafone Plc and Aditya Birla Group own 44.39 per cent and 27.18 per cent stake, respectively, in Vodafone Idea, and have valued their stake in the company at zero. Both partners have also frozen any fresh investment into the firm in view of its huge losses and liabilities, Business Standard reported. CLICK HERE TO READ FULL REPORT

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