Report of Google investment pushes Vodafone Idea share price up


SHARES of Vodafone Idea on Friday (29) zoomed nearly 14 per cent amid reports of Google eyeing a minority stake in the British telecom group’s struggling India business.

Intra-day, the stock rallied 34.87 per cent to Rs 7.85 on the BSE. It later closed at Rs 6.56, registering a sharp gain of 12.71 per cent. On the NSE, it settled at Rs 6.60, up 13.79 per cent after rising sharply by 34.48 per cent to Rs 7.80 during the day.

The investment in Vodafone Idea will pit the search giant against Facebook which has picked up a stake in Jio Platforms, the firm that houses India’s youngest but biggest telecom company – Reliance Jio.

Alphabet Inc’s Google is looking to buy about five per cent stake in Vodafone Idea Ltd, the Financial Times reported on Thursday (29). Both companies refused to comment.

The move assumes significance as Vodafone Idea — where Vodafone holds just over 45 per cent stake — is staring at a huge unpaid statutory dues. Earlier in the day, the BSE sought clarification from Vodafone Idea with reference to the report.

“As part of corporate strategy, the company constantly evaluates various opportunities for enhancing the stakeholders’ value. As and when such proposals are considered by the board of directors of the company warranting disclosures, the company shall comply with the disclosure obligations,” Vodafone Idea said in the clarification statement.

Currently, there is “no proposal” as reported that is being considered at the board, it added.

“We wish to reiterate and clarify that the company will comply with SEBI listing regulations and duly keep the stock exchanges informed of all the price-sensitive information,” it said.