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"Successful FPO marks the beginning of Vodafone-Idea 2.0" says Kumar Mangalam Birla

Mumbai: The successful completion of the Rs 18,000 crore follow-on public offer (FPO) marks the beginning of Vodafone Idea 2.0, which will stage a "smart turnaround", Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla said.
Birla praised PM Modi and telecom minister Ashwani Vaishnav for a conducive policy environment which encourages investment, innovation, and competition, at Vodafone Idea's FPO listing at NSE today, April 25.
"The emphatic oversubscription of the FPO - with the overall book being subscribed seven times and the institutional book being subscribed 19 times -- demonstrates the tremendous potential of the India digital story and Vodafone Idea's role in it," Birla said. " I believe that a revitalised Vodafone Idea is important for India."
Birla highlighted the government's support in preserving a competitive three-player market and committed to remain in this sector.
"The Aditya Birla Group had remained committed to this sector for over two and a half decades now. Along with our partner, Vodafone Group, we have invested around Rs.1,70,000 crore in the Indian telecom industry. Before this FPO, in the last five years, out of Rs.30,000 crore raised by the company, more than 75 percent has come from the two promoter groups," Birla said.
The proceeds of the fundraise will be used for technological upgradation of its telecom network. "This, in turn, will enhance operational efficiencies and lead to better performance. The cycle of investment will trigger the cycle of growth.
Praising investors and banks Birla said it is a beginning of Vodafone-Idea 2.0 "On the back of this fundraise and continued support from banks, Vodafone Idea will stage a smart turnaround. This moment, in some ways, marks the beginning of Vodafone Idea 2.0. I believe that a revitalized Vodafone Idea is important for India,"
"The robust engagement from both foreign and domestic investors is heartening. Notably, the full subscription of the retail portion is truly commendable, given the sheer scale of the offer."
Birla said that Vodafone Idea is a "national asset" with 215 million users, about 8000 MHz spectrum and a network that spans Kashmir to Kanyakumari.... India's digital economy is booming, and robust telecom networks are crucial to support this growth. A nation of 1.4 billion people deserves 3 private telecom players.

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