Home / Companies / News /  Bharti Airtel board approves raising up to 21,000 cr via rights issue

Telecom major Bharti Airtel on Sunday announced that its board has approved raising up to 21,000 crore via rights issue at 535 per share of fully paid-up equity share (including a premium of 530/- per equity share) at its meeting. 

Terms of payment of Issue Price will be 25% on application and balance in two more additional calls within an overall time horizon of 36 months.

Rights Entitlement Ratio is kept at 1 equity share for every 14 equity shares held by eligible shareholders as on the record date, the telco informed.

"Further, the Board has constituted a 'Special Committee of Directors' to decide the other terms and conditions of the Issue including Issue period and the record date," the telco said in a regulatory filing. 

Bharti founder-chairman Sunil Mittal and others in the founder group will also participate in the share purchase, the company said in a statement.

The company said that shareholders would be eligible to buy one share for every 14 share they hold in the telecom firm.

The latest move is expected to give more fire power to Airtel, as the company takes on rivals in the fiercely-competitive Indian telecom market that is now gearing up for 5G.

Shares of Bharti Airtel Ltd on Thursday dived over 4% a day after the company announced that its board will meet to consider plans for raising capital.

On Friday, the telco's scrip on BSE closed 1.21% higher at 593.95. 

The telco had earlier said its board will meet on August 29 to consider various capital raising options, including equity and debt.

The fundraising options entail equity or equity-linked or debt instruments, the company said in a regulatory filing but did not divulge into the quantum of capital raising under consideration.

As per subscriber data released by telecom regulator recently, Bharti Airtel added 38.1 lakh wireless subscribers in June, pushing up its mobile user base to 35.2 crore.

Reliance Jio cemented its lead, gaining 54.6 lakh users in June, as its mobile subscriber base swelled to 43.6 crore during the month.

Troubled Vodafone Idea continued to lose mobile subscribers in June, ceding fresh ground to rivals Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel. Vodafone Idea lost about 42.8 lakh subscribers during June, and its user base shrunk to 27.3 crore, compounding the woes of the debt-laden telco that is struggling to stay afloat.

Amid the existential issues being faced by Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL), industry analysts have sounded an alarm over the risks of Indian telecom market turning into a duopoly.

Recently, billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla stepped down as chairman of Vodafone Idea Ltd, within two months of offering to hand over Aditya Birla Group's stake in the telco over to the government, in a bid to avert a crisis for the telecom company.

As per the Q1 report card released by the telco, the total gross debt (excluding lease liabilities and including interest accrued but not due) as of June 30, 2021, of VIL stood at 1,91,590 crore. It comprised deferred spectrum payment obligations of 1,06,010 crore and adjusted gross revenue (AGR) liability of 62,180 crore that are due to the government.

Recently, Minister of State for Communications Devusinh Chauhan informed Rajya Sabha in a written reply that while the total AGR dues of various telecom companies (both private and state-owned telcos) aggregated to 1,69,048.65 crore, payment totalling 30,283.59 crore has been received till date, and nearly 1,38,765 crore is outstanding payable.

For Bharti Airtel Group, whose overall dues stood at 43,980 crore, payment of 18,004 crore has been received even as 25,976 crore is outstanding payable.

Last year, the Supreme Court had said that telcos would be required to make the payment of 10 per cent of the total dues by March 31, 2021, while balance dues are to be paid in annual instalments commencing from April 1, 2021 up to March 31, 2031, payable by March 31 of every succeeding financial year.

(with PTI inputs) 

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