Bharti Telecom raises $1.1B from Airtel stake sale - Mobile World Live

Bharti Telecom raises $1.1B from Airtel stake sale

27 MAY 2020

Bharti Telecom, the holding company of India’s Bharti Airtel, sold a 2.75 per cent stake in the operator to institutional investors to raise INR84.33 billion ($1.12 billion) to fully repay its debt.

In a statement, Harjeet Kohli, group director of Bharti Enterprises, said with the completion of the share sale, Bharti Telecom becomes a debt free company, “providing even stronger financial flexibility and capacity to provide any additional shareholder support as may be desired by Bharti Airtel from time to time”.

Kohli claimed the strong response received from a diverse mix of investors across geographies, even during challenging global macro-economic conditions, shows the competitive strength and the long-term prospects of Airtel.

The investors included Blackrock, Fidelity, Segantii Capital, Norges Bank and Key Square Capital, The Economic Times reported.

Airtel’s credit profile will also be boosted as it will stand to benefit from deleveraging on a consolidated basis, the statement added.

After the transaction, Bharti Telecom’s stake in Airtel dropped to about 36 per cent. The combined holdings of Airtel’s main shareholders – Bharti Group and Singtel – fell to 56.23 per cent from 58.98 per cent.

Rival moves
Over the past month, rival Reliance Jio’s parent company Reliance Industries sold around 17 per cent of Jio Platforms for $10.46 billion to five different investors, also in a move to reduce debt.

Jio Platforms operates broadband and online commerce services, including Jio, India’s largest mobile operator with 388 million subscribers.

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Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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