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Google Might Buy 5% Stake In Vodafone-Idea: Report

Priyanka Dua
·2-min read

Vodafone-Idea is trying really hard to catch up with the ongoing competition in the telecom industry. However, it seems that the cash-strapped telecom operator is all set to adopt a new strategy to reduce its debt burden by selling its stake to other companies, reports Financial Times. In fact, both Reliance Jio and Airtel have recently raised funds from selling their stakes.

Now, it has been reported that Google is likely to buy a 5 percent stake in Vodafone-Idea. So far, there is no confirmation from the company's side. Notably, Vodafone -Idea is struggling to pay its AGR debt to the government. Besides, the operator is also losing customers and revenue, ever since the merger has been announced

This report comes after Facebook announced its plans to invest in Reliance Jio platforms. The social media giant is buying a 9.99 percent stake at Rs. 43, 574 crore. "Pursuing Vodafone Idea instead would potentially pit Google against Facebook and an increasingly dominant Jio, but the company could also make multiple investments in India," the report said.

On the other hand, analysts are not sure about this deal and said that they are aware of any deal or talks going on between Google and Vodafone-Idea. "But if this is correct, this move by Google would be more to do with Facebook entering the new commerce space, suggesting that Google doesn't want to be left behind as it may have long-term implications around Google's market share in the digital ad market," Rajiv Sharma, head of research at SBICap Securities was quoted by Economic Times.

Airtel Sells Its 2.75% Stake For Rs. 8,433 Crore

Meanwhile, Airtel announced that it has sold its 2.75 percent stake for Rs. 8,433 crore. It is worth mentioning that both Bharti and Singtel will remain the promoters of the company as both own more than 52 percent share in the company.

"With the proceeds, Bharti Telecom Limited will become a zero debt company providing an even stronger financial flexibility and capacity to provide any additional shareholder support as may be desired by Bharti Airtel from time to time," Harjeet Kohli, Group Director, Bharti Enterprises, said while announcing the stake selling deal.

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