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Google eyes 5% stake in Vodafone Idea, multiple India investments: Report

  • May 28, 2020

Global technology giant Google is in talks to buy 5 per cent stake in Vodafone Idea Ltd, a company owned by Vodafone PLC of UK and Aditya Birla group.

The Financial Times reported on Thursday that Google parent firm, Alphabet had also held talks about acquiring a stake in Reliance Jio – owned by Reliance Industries — but has lagged behind other investors like Facebook in securing a deal. By buying stake in Vodafone Idea, Google would pit against Facebook and an increasingly dominant Jio, but the company could also make multiple investments in India.

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A spokesperson of Aditya Birla group headquartered in Mumbai declined to comment.

Vodafone Idea has a market valuation of only Rs 16,724 crore as on Thursday as compared to the valuation of Reliance Jio of $65 billion (Rs 4.87 trillion).

Analysts said the transaction will be a lifeline deal for Vodafone Idea which has been ordered by the Supreme Court to pay Rs 53,000 crore adjusted gross revenues dues to the government.

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Jio is also in separate talks to raise an additional 2.5 per cent from Microsoft for $2 billion. On April 21, Reliance had announced sale of 10 per cent stake in Jio Platforms to Facebook for $5.7 billion or Rs 43,574 crore.

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