Vodafone Group homed in on a deal to sell all or part of its 21.5 per cent holding in Indus Tower, with Reuters reporting the operator will use the proceeds to pay down $42.2 billion in debt.

A stock market deal with an undisclosed buyer is expected to be finalised next week, the news agency wrote. The operator’s stake in the Indian tower company is valued at $2.3 billion.

The UK-based operator’s local unit Vodafone Idea has fallen behind in monthly payments for use of the towers by as much as INR100 billion ($1.2 billion). It reportedly accounts for about 40 per cent of Indus Tower’s revenue.

Vodafone has been searching for a buyer for the remaining shareholding in the business for years. An agreement with a Canadian pension fund fell through in 2022.

In early 2022, Vodafone sold 7.1 per cent of its holdings in the tower company.

Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers merged in late 2020, with Vodafone Idea selling its stake to give Airtel a near 48 per cent interest and Vodafone 21.5 per cent.