New Delhi: Vodafone Plc has pledged its entire stake in Vodafone Idea with seven foreign banks shortly after the country's largest telecom operator issued new shares to promoters to raise funds to pare debt.
Vodafone holds 44.39 per cent stake in Vodafone Idea which at Thursday's trading price is worth over Rs 18,000 crore. In a regulatory filing to stock exchanges, the company said Vodafone Group companies have pledged their 44.39 per cent stake in Vodafone Idea.
The pledge was created "in relation to financing arrangements for Vodafone Group companies" in favour of HSBC Corporate Trustee Company (UK) Ltd, which is acting as a trustee for BNP Paribas, HSBC Bank Plc, ING Bank NV Singapore branch, StanChart Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley Senior Funding Inc, the filing said. "Each of the entities named above has been incorporated outside India," it said.
Vodafone Group holds a stake in Vodafone Idea through 12 entities based out of India and Mauritius. The Mauritius-based entities include Al-Amin Investments, Asian Telecommunication Investments (Mauritius), Trans Crystal, Vodafone Telecommunications (India), CCI (Mauritius), Inc, Euro Pacific Securities, Prime Metals and Mobilvest. Indian entities are Omega Telecom Holdings, Jaykay Finholding (India), Telecom Investments India and Usha Martin Telematics.
"The Vodafone Promoter Shareholders collectively hold 127.55 crore equity shares of the target company (Vodafone Idea) comprising approximately 44.39 per cent of the equity share capital. Such equity shares are subject to an indirect encumbrance," it said. The pledge was created within days of Vodafone Group and its partner Aditya Birla Group infusing Rs 17,920 crore into Vodafone Idea via a rights issue.
After the fund infusion, the promoter's stake had risen to 71.57 per cent from 71.33 per cent. The rights issue, in all, raised Rs 25,000 crore with a view to cut debt, which stands at a staggering Rs 1.14 lakh crore. Vodafone and Idea last year merged their businesses to create India's largest telecom company to take on competition posed by Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Jio. Euro Pacific Securities holds the biggest chunk of shares in Vodafone Idea at 11.13 per cent.