Airtel fleshes out fundraising plan - Mobile World Live

Airtel fleshes out fundraising plan

07 MAR 2019

India-based group Bharti Airtel gave more detail of a plan to raise INR320 billion ($4.6 billion) to boost its capital structure, enabling it to cut debt and improve its ability to invest in future networks.

The company is looking to raise INR250 billion through a rights issue and INR70 billion via a bond issue.

In a statement, Singtel (a significant Airtel shareholder) explained it will be participating in the rights issue alongside Bharti Group and Bharti Telecom. But $700 million worth of Bharti Telecom’s allocation will be taken up by GIC Private, the investment arm of Singapore’s government.

A total of 67 per cent of the rights issue has already been committed by Singtel, the Bharti companies and GIC.

Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO (India and South Asia) at Airtel, said: “The rights issue reiterates the confidence of our shareholders in the competitive strength and sound business strategy of Airtel. It shall further strengthen our balance sheet with desired financial flexibility so as to meet future opportunities, particularly in the rapidly transforming Indian mobile market.”

Arthur Lang, CEO of Singtel’s international group, said: “Our participation in this rights offering with our partners and a leading investor such as GIC reflects our long-standing commitment to Airtel and the confidence in the future of the Indian market. Airtel has performed well despite business headwinds and is consolidating its position in a more sustainable market.”

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