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Bharti Airtel seeks shareholders’ nod to raise funds for paying AGR dues

Bharti Airtel owes the telecom department  ₹21,682 crore in licence fee and another  ₹13,904.01 crore as spectrum usage charges. (Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint)Premium
Bharti Airtel owes the telecom department 21,682 crore in licence fee and another 13,904.01 crore as spectrum usage charges. (Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint)

  • The board of directors of the company had already approved the telecom operator’s fund raising plan
  • The company plans to raise the remaining $1 billion through issue of FCCB or other similar security in foreign currency

New Delhi: Bharti Airtel on Tuesday said it will seek approval of its shareholders to raise $4 billion (approximately 28,300 crore) via a combination of equity and debt. The approval would be sought at the company’s extraordinary general meeting (EGM) scheduled on 3 January, it said in an exchange filing.

The board of directors of the company had already approved the telecom operator’s fund raising plan.

The company needs to go for the massive fund raising exercise following the 24 October order of the Supreme Court in the 14-year-long dispute between the government and telecom operators on the definition of adjusted gross revenues (AGR). The apex court asked the companies to pay these dues within three months.

Airtel will seek shareholders’ nod to raise $2 billion through one or more instruments which could be a qualified institutional placement, compulsory convertible debentures or other convertible securities, ADR (American depositary receipts) and GDR (global depositary receipts), it said in a filing with the exchanges.

The company plans to raise the remaining $1 billion through issue of foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCB) or other similar security in foreign currency, and another $1 billion via redeemable non-convertible debenture or a similar security.

Bharti Airtel owes the telecom department 21,682 crore in licence fee and another 13,904.01 crore as spectrum usage charges. This does not include the dues of Telenor and Tata Teleservices, the telecom companies that Airtel acquired.

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