Airtel raises $350 m from Bharti Infratel unit share sale

Airtel raises $350 m from Bharti Infratel unit share sale

Airtel raises $350 m from Bharti Infratel unit share sale

Bharti Airtel Ltd, India’s top mobile phone carrier, on Thursday raised about Rs 2140 crore ($349.6 million) from a share sale in its unit Bharti Infratel Ltd to comply with a rule that requires listed companies to have a minimum 25 per cent public shareholding.

Bharti Airtel, which as of end-June owned 79.4 per cent of Bharti Infratel, was selling up to 85 million shares, or an about 4.5 per cent stake, through the stock exchange.

The sale was covered 1.27 times at an indicative price of Rs 251.71 per share, states a Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE)data released on Thursday.

Indian companies are riding on a surge in the stock market after a new government took power to raise funds by selling shares.

Initial public offering

Bharti Infratel, which went public in December 2012, had three years from the initial public offering date to pare its founders’ holding to 75 per cent.

The fund-raising also helps Bharti Airtel, headed by billionaire Sunil Mittal, as it strives to cut its debt. The company, which had a net debt of $9.6 billion as of June, last month agreed to sell about a fifth of its telecoms towers in Africa. Last year it sold a 5 per cent stake in the South African company for about $1.1 billion to a Qatari fund.

Apart from these shares, Bharti Airtel decided to sell 4 crore additional equity shares of the company.
Global Banks and consultancies like Bank of America Merrill Lynch, UBS and JPMorgan were brokers to the Bharti Infratel share sale.