Airtel sells 3.65% stake in Bharti Infratel to raise Rs2,570 crore
New Delhi: India’s largest telecom company Bharti Airtel Ltd on Tuesday said it had divested 67.53 million shares or 3.65% of its stake in subsidiary Bharti Infratel Ltd to raise more than Rs2,570 crore.
Proceeds from the sale will primarily be used to reduce debt, the company said in a statement.
Bharti Airtel had Rs87,840 crore of net debt at the end of June, according to company filings.
“The allocation was done to global tower company investors, fund managers and long only funds, including many repeat investors,” the company said.
UBS and JP Morgan were joint placement agents for the transaction.
During an analyst call after the company posted its June quarter results on 27 July, executives said Airtel would look to monetise the roughly 10% stake held by wholly-owned subsidiary Nettle Infrastructure in its tower unit Bharti Infratel.
In March, Airtel sold a 10.3% stake in the tower unit to a consortium of investors to raise Rs6,193.9 crore—funds it plans to use to pare debt and counter competition.
In October, Airtel’s board authorized a committee to evaluate the sale of a significant portion of its Infratel stake. At a 15 March board meeting, the company decided that it would not sell a controlling stake for now, but transfer a 21.6% stake to Nettle Infrastructure, which it could sell to a potential investor.