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Posted at: Nov 15, 2017, 12:39 AM; last updated: Nov 15, 2017, 12:39 AM (IST)

Airtel sells stake in tower business for Rs 3,325 crore

Stock market transaction

  • The secondary share sale was executed at Rs 400.6 per share, representing 3.6% discount to the previous day’s closing price
  • The buyers included global investors, fund managers and long-only funds, including many repeat investors
  • The consolidated debt of the Sunil Mittal-owned company was Rs 91,480 crore as on September 2017

New Delhi, November 14

Bharti Airtel today said it has sold 83 million shares in its mobile tower subsidiary, Bharti Infratel, for over Rs 3,325 crore via stock market deal and will use the proceeds to pare debts.

The secondary share sale was executed at Rs 400.6 per share, representing 3.6% discount to the previous day’s closing price, Airtel said.

The buyers included global investors, fund managers and long-only funds, including many repeat investors, it said, adding that the deal was upsized by over 25% given “healthy investor appetite”. “Airtel will primarily use the proceeds from this sale to reduce its debt,” the statement added.

The consolidated debt of the Sunil Mittal-owned company was Rs 91,480 crore as on September 2017.

Like other incumbent operators, the country’s largest telecom company has been locked in a fierce tariff war with newcomer Reliance Jio in the mobile telephony market.

After today’s share sale, the stake of Bharti Airtel and its wholly-owned subsidiaries in Bharti Infratel would come down to 53.51%.

According to the BSE data, the promoters’ holding in the tower infrastructure company stood at 58% as on September 2017.

The sale was carried out by Airtel via its wholly-owned subsidiary, Nettle Infrastructure Investments.

Announcing the “successful divestment” of 83 million shares in Bharti Infratel, the company said: “The sale was for a total consideration of over Rs 3,325 crore ($510 million) and was executed at a price of Rs 400.6 per share, representing a discount of 3.6% to the previous day’s closing price.”

JP Morgan, UBS and Goldman Sachs were joint placement agents for the transaction.

Airtel had, earlier this year, sold 10.3% stake in Bharti Infratel to a consortium of KKR and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for Rs 6,193.9 crore. — PTI

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