Bharti Airtel sells stake in Bharti Infratel for Rs3,325 crore

As of end-September Nettle Infrastructure Investments owned 7.7% of Bharti Infratel while Bharti Airtel owned 50.3% of the tower operator

Bharti Airtel sells stake in Bharti Infratel for Rs3,325 crore

Shares of BHARTI AIRTEL LTD. was last trading in BSE at Rs.498.05 as compared to the previous close of Rs. 501.8.

Reports were rife that Bharti Airtel was planning to raise $400 million or Rs 2,617.2 crore by selling 3.5 per cent stake in the listed tower unit through block deals in the open market on Tuesday.

The sale was carried out by Airtel via its wholly-owned subsidiary, Nettle Infrastructure Investments.

After the transaction, Bharti Airtel and its other wholly owned entities will have an equity holding of 53.51% in tower arm Bharti Infratel, the official statement of Airtel read.

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Bharti Airtel did not disclose today's purchasers, except to say that they were global investors, fund managers and long-term funds. Indian telecom operators have been hit by the entry of Reliance Jio, which has been offering free voice calls and data at dirt-cheap prices. The company sold the shares at Rs 400.60 a piece, which is 3.6% lower than Monday's closing price of the Bharti Infratel stock on the National Stock Exchange. Airtel's consolidated debt stood at Rs 91,480 crore as on September 2017. JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and UBS were the joint agreements for the transaction.

Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, which are headed for a merger, said yesterday that they have separately made a decision to sell their tower businesses in India to ATC Telecom Infrastructure for Rs 7,850 crore. 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. Bharti Infratel and Vodafone India hold 42 per cent stake in Indus Towers and rest is held by Idea Cellular.

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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