India’s largest operator Bharti Airtel raised $310 million through a secondary sale of shares in its towers unit Bharti Infratel, with the proceeds earmarked primarily for debt reduction.

This is not the first time the operator has chosen to offload a chunk of the same unit to raise cash.

It collected $349 million in a similar manouevre last summer, which was also used to pay down debt.

On this occasion, Airtel sold 55 million equity shares at INR350, which represents a discount of four per cent against Bharti Infratel’s 30-day average closing share price.

The sales represent three per cent of the total share capital of Bharti Infratel, and reduces Airtel’s take to 72 per cent.