U.S. wireless carrier Verizon Communications Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. could invest more than $4 billion in India’s Vodafone Idea Ltd, the Mint newspaper reported on Thursday, sending shares of the struggling Indian telecommunications business up 10%. The stake-sale talks of Vodafone Idea had been halted pending the outcome of a court hearing in India which generated confusion and could have threatened the survival of Vodafone Idea, Mint said, citing two unnamed people aware of the negotiations.
Vodafone Idea did not respond immediately to Reuters’ request for comment. Amazon and Verizon have not returned emails requesting comment outside of normal business hours in the United States. Heavily indebted Vodafone Idea — a joint venture between Vodafone Group Plc from Britain and Idea Cellular from India — had previously confirmed that its willingness to proceed as an ongoing concern was dependent on a positive outcome of the hearing.
According to regulatory filings, it has paid the Indian government 78.5 billion rupees ($1.1 billion) in telecoms duties but still owes around 500 billion rupees ($6.8 billion) more. Vodafone Idea shares, which ended 13 per cent lower after the court ruling on Tuesday, rose by 0405 GMT to 8 per cent at 10.70 rupees on the NSE index.