Vodafone Idea shares fall to 52-week low on Kumar Mangalam Birla exit
Shares of Vodafone Idea Ltd fell over 24 per cent to a 52-week low on Thursday as billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla stepped down as its executive chairman and non-executive director. The stock has been seeing a fall ever since Birla offered to give up his shares to the government or “any other entity that the government may consider worthy to keep the company operational”. The company has not stated any reason for Birla’s exit.
On Thursday, the stock plunged 24.54 per cent to its 52-week low of ₹4.55 on the BSE. At the NSE, it cracked 24.16 per cent to its 52-week low of ₹4.55.
Birla will be replaced by Himanshu Kapania (who was earlier the managing director and CEO of Birla's Idea Cellular) as the new chairman of Vodafone Idea Ltd.
Meanwhile, The share of its competitor Bharti Airtel rose around 7 per cent intraday to ₹614, inching closer to its 52-week high of ₹623.
The Supreme Court, last month, had rejected petitions by telecom companies, including Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel, for rectification of alleged errors in calculation of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) related dues payable by them.
According to official data, VIL had an AGR liability of ₹58,254 crore, out of which it has paid ₹7,854.37 crore while ₹50,399.63 crore is outstanding.
In the BSE filing on Wednesday evening, VIL said, "The Board of Directors of Vodafone Idea, at its meeting, have accepted the request of Kumar Mangalam Birla to step down as Non-Executive Director and Non-Executive Chairman of the Board with effect from close of business hours on 4 August, 2021."
Consequently, the board has "unanimously elected" Himanshu Kapania, currently a non-executive director and a nominee of the Aditya Birla Group, as the non-executive chairman.
In his letter to the government in June, Birla had reportedly said investors were not willing to invest in the company in the absence of clarity on AGR liability, an adequate moratorium on spectrum payments and most importantly floor pricing regime above the cost of service.
(With agency inputs)