Airtel to sell Rs 6,800-cr stake

Airtel to sell Rs 6,800-cr stake

Country’s largest mobile operator Bharti Airtel on Friday said it will sell 5 per cent stake to Doha-based Qatar Foundation Endowment for around Rs 6,800 crore to strengthen its capital structure and fund future growth plans.

Bharti Airtel will issue 199.87 million new shares to QFE at a price of Rs 340 apiece, 7.3 per cent higher than yesterday’s closing price.

“...it has entered into a binding agreement with Qatar Foundation Endowment (QFE), under which Bharti will issue 199,870,006 of its new shares to QFE, representing a shareholding of 5 per cent in the company, post issuance of the new shares,” Bharti Airtel said in a statement.

As a result of the deal, the promoter shareholding in the company may come down marginally.

According to BSE data, promoters together held nearly 68.55 per cent stake in Bharti Airtel, including 45.75 per cent by Bharti Telecom, as on March 2013.

Bharti Airtel is jointly promoted by Singapore-based Singtel and group companies of billionaire Sunil Mittal’s family. As per the agreement, QFE will subscribe to 199,870,006 new shares of Bharti at a price of Rs 340 per share, amounting to a total consideration of $1.26 billion (Rs 6,796 crore), it added. “I am delighted to welcome another high quality long-term institutional investor to our shareholder base...this agreement exemplifies further strengthening of the already deep economic and cultural relations between Qatar and India,” Bharti Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said in the statement.

Goldman Sachs acted as the sole financial advisor to QFE on this investment.
“As a long-term global investor, our shareholding gives us exposure to a high growth sector in key emerging markets. QFE looks forward to supporting Bharti in realising the full potential of this world class business,” QFE Acting Chief Executive Officer Rashid Al-Naimi said.

QFE is a long-term global investor with a broad mandate to make direct and managed investments, the statement said.

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