SoftBank linked to Bharti Airtel move - Mobile World Live

SoftBank linked to Bharti Airtel move

12 AUG 2019

Indian operator Bharti Airtel reportedly attracted further attention from overseas investors, with SoftBank tipped to be exploring taking a stake in the company days after Singtel was linked to a similar move.

The Japanese giant was said to be in talks to take either a direct stake in Airtel or an indirect holding via the operator’s parent company, CNBC reported citing local press.

Discussions are in the early stages, with the structure and price of any deal still being assessed, the news outlet noted.

If the report is accurate it would represent the second major interest in Airtel in almost as many days after Singapore-based Singtel was linked with a similar bid to increase its holding by expanding its stake in Bharti Telecom, the Indian operator’s major shareholder.

CNBC noted SoftBank previously forged a joint venture with Bharti Enterprises covering social media, gaming and e-commerce. The Japanese company and Singtel also both invested in Airtel Africa as part of a funding round conducted in late 2018.

Airtel’s domestic performance was something of a blot in its fiscal Q1 (calendar Q2), offsetting growth in its South Asia and Africa segments and contributing to a net loss of INR28.6 billion ($402 million).

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Michael doesn’t want to admit that he has been a journalist and editor for close to 20 years covering a diverse set of subjects including shipping and shipbuilding, fixed and mobile telecoms, and motorcycling...More

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