(Bloomberg) -- Rajiv Jain’s GQG Partners LLC is looking to invest around $400 million in Vodafone Idea Ltd.’s share sale that starts later this week, according to people familiar, in a vote of confidence in the unprofitable Indian wireless operator.

GQG will place bids for equity worth at least $300 million and as much as $400 million in a follow-on public offer being floated by the joint venture between Vodafone Group Plc and the Aditya Birla Group, said people familiar with the discussions who did not want to be identified as the information is not public. Other institutional investors are also expected to buy into the sale, they added.

The $2.2 billion share sale, which will start on April 18 and close April 22, has a floor price of 10 rupees (12 cents) per share and a ceiling price of 11 rupees, the Mumbai based firm said in exchange filings last week. 

Representatives of Vodafone Idea and GQG Partners did not offer any immediate comments. 

A statement filed by the telecoms operator dated Tuesday showed several GQG funds are among a handful of investors that have subscribed to 54 billion rupees of shares.

The backing from GQG is a major shot in the arm for Vodafone Idea. The telecom operator has been plagued by financial losses and an eroding subscriber base as users switched to stronger rivals, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. and Bharti Airtel Ltd. 

While it hasn’t reported an annual profit since 2016, recent comments by the Indian government that it won’t allow a duopoly in the Indian telecom sector has bolstered investor hopes that Vodafone Idea will survive and stage a comeback.

The Indian government emerged as Vodafone Idea’s largest shareholder in 2022 when the wireless operator converted the dues it couldn’t pay to the administration into a 36% stake. The smallest of India’s three private sector wireless operators, it has struggled to upgrade its infrastructure while Reliance Jio and Bharti have rapidly rolled out their 5G networks across the country, luring subscribers away.

Read More: GQG’s $10 Billion India Bet Has Winning Picks Beyond Adani 

Jain’s GQG has been in the spotlight for investing in several Adani Group firms in March 2023, weeks after they were thrashed by a stinging short seller report. The value of GQG’s stake in Adani stocks has grown about fivefold within a year, making these one of the many winning picks for the Florida-based investment firm in India.

--With assistance from Dong Lyu.

(Updated with statement from company on share sale in the fifth paragraph.)

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