The company says the sale is part of an overall strategy to reduce its debt
Bharti Telecom, the parent company of Bharti Airtel, has announced a $1 billion stake sale to help alleviate its debt.
This sale amounts to around 2.75% equity in the company, leaving Bharti Group and SingTel still as majority stakeholders with 56.23% after the transaction.
While buyers are yet to be announced, rumours suggest that the sale is attracting investors from all over the world, including India, Asia, Europe, and the US.
The sale comes at a time when Bharti Telecom shares are at a record high, following the announcement of a 14% increase in user revenue in the quarter through to March.
Bharti Telecom is not the only company in the Indian telco sphere to be selling off equity in favour of quick funds. The most notable amongst these is Reliance Jio, which recently sold a 9.99% stake in the service arm of Reliance Industries to Facebook for $5.7 billion and a further $1.5 billion stake to KKR.
Reliance Industries aims to divest 20% of the company in total.
Back in January, Airtel itself raised $3 billion through the sale of shares and convertible bonds, though these funds were already earmarked to help pay off the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues imposed upon it and India’s other major operators by the government.
This fund raising and the gradual rising of tariffs has seen Airtel’s position somewhat consolidated, while the third major Indian telecoms player, Vodafone Idea, is still languishing under the weight of its own AGR dues, which may be enough to see it forced out of the market altogether.
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