New Delhi: Singapore-based SingTel has increased its stake in one of India’s largest telecom companies Bharti Airtel to 32.25%, with the purchase of shares worth about Rs93 crore.
The freshly acquired shares account for about 0.1 percentage point stake in Bharti Airtel, which is jointly promoted by Singtel and group companies of industrialist Sunil Mittal’s family.
SingTel, through its subsidiary Viridian Ltd, has bought 28.30 lakh shares of Bharti Airtel through an open market purchase for an aggregate cash consideration of Rs93.4 crore (about 26 million Singapore dollars), SingTel said in a stock filing.
At the end of December, SingTel owned 15.72% in Bharti Airtel directly through its wholly-owned subsidiaries Pastel (15.57%) and Viridian Ltd (0.15%), while the rest was held indirectly by the parent company.
“The purchase consideration was determined by the prevailing market price of Airtel on the relevant stock exchange,” it said.
All the promoters together held nearly 68.2% stake in Bharti Airtel, including 45.48% by Mittal group firm Bharti Telecom as on 31 December, 2010.
Among other shareholders, LIC has little over 5%. In January this year, Viridian had purchased 40.75 lakh shares of Bharti Airtel via open market for Rs136 crore taking its effective shareholding in Airtel to 32.15%.
In 2009, SingTel had purchased an additional 73 lakh shares in Bharti Telecom, which is the promoter company of Bharti Airtel, thereby increasing SingTel’s effective interest to 31.95%.
Bharti Airtel shares were trading at Rs362.50 a piece at 01:00 pm on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), up 0.70% from its previous close.
Telecom giant Bharti Airtel, in its third quarter earnings, had posted a 40.62% dip in net income to Rs1,303.3 crore. This was primarily on account of increase in spectrum charges and one-time costs related to its brand relaunch in Africa.