New Delhi: Bharti Airtel Ltd has received bids from at least a dozen foreign banks, including Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase and Co., to fund its proposed stake buy in South Africa’s MTN Group, ‘The Economic Times’ reported on Tuesday.
Citing unnamed bankers, the newspaper said Bharti had called fresh indicative financing bids from banks and a total 13 banks from the US, Europe and Asia had put in their offers, each for $500 million (Rs2,435 crore), before a Monday deadline. The foreign banks include Barclays Plc., Bank of Tokyo-Mit-subishi, Calyon and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., the paper said. State Bank of India and Punjab National Bank were interested in giving rupee loans, it said.
Deal hopes up: Bharti’s headquarters in New Delhi. Harikrishna Katragadda / Mint
Bharti and MTN are in exclusive merger talks till 31 August for a complex cash and stock deal, which would see MTN and its shareholders taking a 36% economic interest in Bharti and Bharti ending up with 49% in MTN.
Brokerages had expected net cash outflow of about $4 billion from Bharti after initial terms were announced in May, but the firms said on 3 August the terms and the structure of the deal might be adjusted.
The newspaper cited investment bankers as saying Bharti was looking at an overseas loan of around $3-3.5 billion and a rupee funding equivalent to about $1.5-2 billion. Bharti is likely to decide on the banks by the middle of this week and finalise the financing by 29 August, it said. A spokesman for Bharti Airtel declined comment. Earlier sources had told ‘Reuters’ that Bharti was looking to raise up to $4 billion in debt.