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Airtel sells 10.3% stake in Bharti Infratel for Rs6,194 crore

LiveMint logoLiveMint 28-03-2017 Amrit Raj

New Delhi: In a much needed ammunition to strengthen its presence in India’s telecom market, Bharti Airtel Ltd on Tuesday said that it has sold 10.3% stake in its tower company Bharti Infratel Ltd to a consortium of funds to raise Rs6,193.9 crore.

The consortium of funds includes private equity firm KKR and Canada Pension Plan Investments Board (CPPIB). Post this transaction, the stake held by KKR and CPPIB (combined) will be the single-largest public shareholder block.

Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman of India’s largest telco, said that the investment by a consortium of marquee long-term investors further reinforces the positive outlook for the telecom infrastructure sector. “The long-term investment horizon of the investors aligns well with the capital needs and business cycles of Bharti Infratel,” he said.

The deal was executed at a price of Rs325 per share. “Bharti Airtel will primarily use the proceeds from this sale to reduce its debt,” the company said in a statement.

The combined debt of Airtel after the acquisition of Telenor India stands at Rs67,763 crore.

This transaction makes it KKR’s second investment in Bharti Infratel. Previously, the funds managed by KKR had invested in Bharti Infratel between 2008 and 2015. Following the closure of this transaction, Bharti Airtel’s equity holding in Bharti Infratel stands at 61.7%, and that of KKR and CPPIB at 10.3%.

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