Investment Firms GQG and Fidelity Buys Stake in Vodafone Idea for $261 mn

India’s debt-laden telecom operator, Vodafone Idea, has disclosed that investment firms GQG and Fidelity acquired shares worth $261 million as part of the company’s planned $2.16 billion share sale.
VI retail store in ChennaiVodafone Idea executed the first stage of its 180 billion rupees follow-on offering, the largest in the country’s history, by selling shares worth 54 billion rupees ($645.5 million) to institutional investors, Reuters news report said.

According to a statement from Vodafone Idea late on Tuesday, U.S.-based investment firm GQG, led by India-born executive Rajiv Jain, secured shares worth 13.48 billion rupees, making it the largest recipient among institutional investors. Fidelity was allocated shares worth 8.32 billion rupees, while domestic investor Motilal Oswal obtained shares valued at 454.5 million rupees, the highest among Indian investors.

The shares were priced at 11 rupees each, at the upper end of the 10-11 rupees price band. Vodafone Idea’s stock closed at 12.95 rupees on Tuesday, the day of the bidding.

The bidding for retail investors will take place within the same price band from Thursday, April 18, until April 22. Indian markets remained closed on Wednesday for a public holiday.

Vodafone Idea aims to raise 450 billion rupees through a combination of equity and debt to bolster its 4G network expansion and facilitate the rollout of 5G services.

Recent reports from Reuters indicated GQG’s intention to invest in Vodafone Idea, India’s third-largest operator, trailing behind Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel, both of which have eroded its market share in recent years.

Rajiv Jain, the founder of GQG, has a track record of investing in distressed companies with declining share prices and achieving profitable outcomes. His recent successful investment venture included backing the Indian conglomerate Adani Group.

With over $100 billion in assets under management globally, including $20 billion in India, Jain remains optimistic about India’s economic outlook, emphasizing its growth potential.