The company’s Indian operation, Vodafone Idea, is facing “capital constraints” and has found it tough to make payments it owes to vendors. Some tower operators and other parties have not been paid for June, according to anonymous sources quoted by Sputnik News.
The company’s quarterly results from January to March show a net loss of $1.6 billion, more than twice the $656.9 million from the same time in 2019.
Meanwhile, Vodafone Idea has been in court, alongside other telecom companies, over statutory dues of $20 billion. Of the $6.8 billion Vodafone Idea owes, it has thus far paid $853 million, Sputnik News reported. Another major Indian telecom player, Bharti Airtel, owes the government $4.6 billion and has paid around half of it.
Vodafone Idea is supposedly in talks with the vendors to try and sort out the issue with them, Sputnik News wrote.
Senior Counsel Mukul Rohatgi, speaking on behalf of Vodafone Idea at a recent hearing about the statutory dues, said it was an “extremely precarious situation for the company and it is not in a position to give fresh bank guarantees,” according to Sputnik News.
Google was exploring buying around a 5 percent stake in Vodafone earlier this year, but it did not come to pass due to the pandemic, which has been notorious for breaking up deals. Although that idea never came to fruition, it represented a trend of big tech companies looking at buying into India’s burgeoning tech market.
Vodacom, a Vodafone subsidiary, teamed up with Kenyan telecom Safaricom earlier this year to acquire payments platform M-PESA. The acquisition encompassed the company’s product development and support services, and Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub called it a “significant milestone” that would boost the company’s African financial services potential.
M-PESA, the largest payments company in Africa, boasts 40 million users and 1 billion transactions per month.