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A Bharti Airtel office building (REUTERS)
A Bharti Airtel office building (REUTERS)

Airtel to decide on foreign currency bonds issuance

  • Bharti Airtel Ltd will meet global fixed income investors on or after 23 February to decide on the issuance of foreign currency bonds
  • The board of the telco had earlier this month approved fundraising of up to 7,500 crore through debt instruments

Bharti Airtel Ltd will meet global fixed income investors on or after 23 February to decide on the issuance of foreign currency bonds, the company said in an exchange filing on Monday.

The board of the telco had earlier this month approved fundraising of up to 7,500 crore through debt instruments such as debentures and bonds in one or more tranches.

“The company will meet global fixed income investors on or after 23 February, following which and subject to market conditions, the company will take a final decision on the issuance of foreign currency bonds/notes and a deal may or may not follow," it said.

A special committee of directors will likely meet anytime on or after two working days to consider the issuance and its detailed terms and conditions, subject to the final decision.

The fundraising has been announced when the telecom sector prepares for the upcoming spectrum auction in March and the rollout of 5G wireless service later this year.

Airtel on 28 January had announced that it is India’s first telecom operator to conduct live 5G demonstration, calling its network ready for the next-generation wireless service and beating Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, which is yet to hold trials on a commercial network.

On 17 February, Airtel said it will buy back US private equity firm Warburg Pincus’ 20% stake in its direct-to-home television unit for 3,126 crore. Warburg Pincus had in December 2017 acquired the 20% stake in Bharti Telemedia Ltd for 2,258 crore.

The board of Airtel, India’s second-largest telecom operator by market share, also approved setting up a special committee to unlock the value of its digital businesses.

The committee will evaluate the rejig of subsidiaries to increase focus on digital and non-telecom businesses, including music streaming app Wynk, content platform Xstream, cloud-based communication service Airtel IQ, among others.

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