Vodafone CEO Nick Read has called the situation “critical"
Vodafone Group Plc chief executive officer Nick Read has said that the company may head for liquidation of its India business if the government does not ease spectrum fees, Bloomberg reported.
Read called the situation “critical if you don’t get the remedies being suggested”. The publication quoted him as saying, “If you’re not a going concern, you’re moving into a liquidation scenario — can’t get any clearer than that.”
Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.
The Supreme Court of India in October ordered telecom operators to pay up $4 billion worth dues for past frequency licenses. Vodafone owns 45 percent of Vodafone Idea but has not yet pledged more money to the business even as the latter drowns in $14 billion debt.
Vodafone has been asking a two-year extension on the spectrum payment, besides lower license fees and taxes. It has further asked the court to pace out the payment requirement over 10 years with a waiver on interest and penalties.
For the same, Read and Vodafone Chairman Gerard Kleisterlee met Indian government officials in September to present their case. Read added that they were awaiting a response from the government committee that was mulling the requests.On October 24, the SC upheld the definition of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) calculation as stipulated by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). More than half the amount due is owed by Airtel and Vodafone. The apex court further held that not only the original charges but the principal interest and penalties on delayed payments would also be payable.