Airtel raises US$952m from Infratel stake
NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel Ltd raised US$952 million (RM4.21 billion) selling a stake in its tower unit as India’s largest carrier looks to pare debt as competition intensifies in the world’s secondlargest smartphone market.
A group of investors led by KKR & Co and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board bought over 190 million shares, or 10.3 per cent of Bharti Infratel Ltd, for 61.93 billion rupees (RM4.21 billion), it said in a filing.
Airtel, controlled by billionaire Sunil Bharti Mittal, would use the proceeds to pare debt, it said.
“Airtel had been considering selling a controlling stake in the venture, but the announced consolidation between Vodafone and Idea knocked the stock off its highs,” said Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Chris Lane.
“So while it’s a step in the right direction in reducing debt, we infer the smaller deal means Airtel has decided to wait for the price of Infratel to correct before selling a larger stake.” Bloomberg