Vodafone said the Indian government will own almost 36% in the country’s third-largest wireless phone operator after its board approved conversion of dues into equity.
This will result in dilution for all the existing shareholders of the company, including the founders, the unprofitable wireless carrier said in a stock exchange filing. Vodafone Group Plc will own around 28.5% and Aditya Birla Group will have about 17.8% in the company, it said.
This rescue plan was crucial for
, a joint venture between the Vodafone Group and billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla’s conglomerate, which has been losing customers to bigger rivals. Its financial health deteriorated after Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. sparked a brutal price war in 2016, and quickly clinched market share to become the top player.