Vodafone Group sold an 18 per cent stake in India infrastructure player Indus Towers for INR153 billion (€1.7 billion), cash set to be used to pay down debt secured against its assets in the country.

The deal, which was rumoured to be imminent earlier this week, leaves it with a stake of 3.1 per cent in the tower company.

Vodafone noted proceeds from the sale of the 484.7 million shares to equity investors would “substantially repay” debts of €1.8 billion secured against its assets in India.

The operator group noted in its 2024 annual report (for the period to end March 2024) it had debt secured against its stakes in Indus Towers and operator Vodafone Idea.

In a stock market statement Indus Towers’ largest shareholder Bharti Airtel announced it had bought almost 27 million additional shares in the infrastructure company to take its stake to close to 49 per cent.

Reuters reported Vodafone had originally planned to sell a stake of only 10 per cent in the business, but upped this due to strong demand from investors.   

Indus Towers is one of the largest telecom infrastructure providers in India with more than 219,700 towers and a presence across the country, the company’s website claims.