Amazon.com Inc. and Verizon Communications, the largest wireless carrier in the US, are set to resume talks to buy a significant stake in struggling Vodafone Idea Ltd for more than $4 billion, two people aware of the negotiations said.
The stake-sale talks were paused because the outcome of a Supreme Court case on staggered payments of government dues was uncertain and could have threatened the survival of Vodafone Idea, the people said seeking anonymity.
Tuesday’s decision by the top court to give telcos 10 years to pay a total of ₹1.4 trillion in dues paves the way for a resumption of the negotiations.
The fundraising is crucial for cash-strapped Vodafone Idea to pay government dues and invest in upgrading its network, a process that was halted for lack of funds.
Of the combined dues of all telcos, Vodafone Idea alone needs to pay around ₹50,400 crore more to the government in licence fee, spectrum usage charges, interest and penalties. It has already paid ₹7,854 crore.