Vodafone Idea (Vi) has approached the State Bank of India for a loan amounting to Rs 15,000-16,000 crore, The Economic Times reported on December 1. The beleaguered telecom operator plans to use the funds to meet its capital expenditure requirements, fund gear supply contracts for its pending 5G rollout and clear vendor dues, it said quoting sources aware of the development.
Reportedly, the matter relating to the raising funds via debt has been in discussion for over a month now as the country's largest lender has sought clarity on the government's potential shareholding in Vi, as well as the telco's business scale-up plans.
An executive, aware of Vi's loan negotiations told the ET that SBI wants to know whether Vi's promoters - the Vodafone Group and the Aditya Birla Group plan to pump any more equity into the struggling telco. The bank has also sought an update on any global strategic investor participating in the operator's pending external fundraise.
Vi's proposal would be placed before SBI's apex credit committee to finalise terms only after obtaining clarity on the loss-making telecom service provider's expansion plans, a senior banker and a source aware of the matter told ET.