Bharti Airtel reduces stake in tower company and raises $400m

Bharti Airtel reduces stake in tower company and raises $400m

The sale was executed at a price of Rs 400.6 per share, offering a discount of 3.6 per cent to the previous day's closing price.

Leading telecom operator, Bharti Airtel on Tuesday announced that it sold over 83 million shares of its tower arm Bharti Infratel, which are worth Rs. 3,325 crores ($510 million). Airtel's consolidated debt stood at Rs 91,480 crore as on September 2017.

Bharti Airtel and its wholly owned subsidiaries now hold an equity of 53.51 per cent in Bharti Infratel following the closure of this transaction. Global investors and fund managers are among those who bought the shares. Airtel net profit for the second quarter was whittled down to a mere Rs 343 crore from a robust Rs 1,461 crore in the July - September quarter of 2016-17.

The sale was carried out by Airtel via its wholly-owned subsidiary, Nettle Infrastructure Investments. JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and UBS were the joint agreements for the transaction.

Telecom tower companies have been grabbing the headlines over the last few weeks. In 2014 it said Bharti Infratel wanted to buy Aircel and Vodafone India's towers, but this week Vodafone India and Idea Cellular - which are merging - said they were selling their towers to ATC of the United States for $1.2 billion. Bharti Infratel settled 4.16 per cent down at Rs 394, whereas Bharti Airtel closed at Rs 497.70, down 0.07 per cent on Tuesday.

Following the development, shares of Bharti Infratel fell 2.7 per cent to hit a low of Rs 400 on BSE.

Airtel had, earlier this year, sold 10.3 per cent stake in Bharti Infratel to a consortium of KKR and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for Rs 6,193.9 crore.

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