BENGALURU: Vodafone Idea on Monday described the talks about life insurance major LIC picking up a stake as “baseless speculation”. Market players and sources within the insurance giant, however, said there were initial talks between the two, and that the government-run life insurer may look at the troubled telecom service provider to buy a large minority stake.
According to market sources, if a deal is finalised, the life insurance major is expected to pick up the stake through the preferential allotment route. They said that in case the LIC-Vodafone Idea deal is sealed, it would help revive investor confidence in the telco. This could bring in more players to invest in the beleaguered telecom giant, like it happened in the case of Yes Bank where banking giant SBI led a rescue plan.
At Monday’s closing price, Vodafone Idea had a market capitalisation of Rs 26,120 crore on the BSE. “We cannot comment on such baseless speculation,” a Vodafone-Idea spokesperson said in response to a questionnaire.
In the June quarter, Vodafone Idea saw its net losses widening to Rs 25,460 crore after it made additional provisioning to pay AGR-related dues.