Google is said to be exploring an investment in Vodafone Idea, about a month after rival Facebook picked up a 9.99% stake in RIL-owned Jio Platforms, the Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
It said that Google is looking to pick up a 5% stake in India’s second-largest telecom operator, which is a joint venture between UK’s Vodafone Group Plc and India’s Aditya Birla Group, although the process is at a very early stage.
Vodafone Idea is currently under a severe financial strain as the company has a massive Rs 58,254 crore as AGR (Adjusted Gross Revenue) dues, of which it has paid Rs 6,854 crore to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) in three tranches last month, or its full principal dues as per its self-assessment.
Last month, Facebook had invested $5.7 billion for a 9.99% stake in Jio Platforms, that houses its telecom business Reliance Jio Infocomm and a bouquet of varied digital offerings. Since then, Jio Platforms has further secured financing from various private equity groups over the past month, bringing the total financing to more than $10 billion.
Google parent Alphabet has also held talks to buy a stake in Jio and the process is still ongoing, the report said.