Global search giant Google has evinced interest in India’s largest telecom company Vodafone Idea. The news report led to a frenzied investor buying that pushed counter 34% higher on the bourses.
Any such investment could prove to be a breather for Vodafone Idea which has been reeling under increasing financial stress.
The stock, which has zoomed more than 96 percent in the last three months, was quoting at Rs 7.59, up Rs 1.77.
The search giant is said to be considering the purchase of 5% stake in Vodafone’s struggling India business. Vodafone Idea is a partnership between UK-based Vodafone and India’s Aditya Birla Group. Since the launch of Reliance Jio in 2016, both the companies have been struggling, which also led to their merger. The discussion is said to be at a very early stage.
Google’s move would pit the search giant against Facebook in the world’s fastest-growing mobile market. Jio platform, the subsidiary of Reliance Industries, has seen intense interest in the recent weeks. It has secured over $10 billion in investment from Facebook, KKR, General Atlantic, Vista Equity Partners and Silver Lake.
It is also said to be in discussion with Microsoft, Twitter, Mubadala and others.
Google has also held talks with Jio but has lagged behind its rivals in securing a deal. With an investment in Vodafone Idea, Google will provide a much needed stimulus to the struggling telecom player.
Meanwhile Vodafone has denied any such possibility in a notification sent to the exchanges today, While it is too early to quess what might happen in the near term, longer term any association if confirned later with a global internet player will immensely benefit the company going ahead.
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