Airtel To Raise Rs 16500 Crore For Spectrum Payment, Refinancing Debt

Airtel plans to raise Rs 3000 cr via non-convertible debentures

Bharti Airtel board today approved the company's plans to raise up to Rs 16,500 crore through privately placed non-convertible debentures (NCDs) and a foreign currency bonds float.

It went to say that it would also issue $1 billion foreign currency bonds on one or more tranches.

"Any funds, if raised from the issuance of aforesaid debt securities, shall be used in routine treasury activities, including refinancing of existing debt and spectrum liabilities", the filing added.

The country's largest telecom operator has in the last one year announced several measures to trim debt and defend its business under an onslaught from newest entrant Reliance Jio.

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Bharti Airtel recently announced that Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (Singtel) will indirectly raise its stake in Bharti Airtel by investing Rs 2,649 crore in Bharti Telecom Ltd, the promoter company, through a preferential allotment of shares.

The company will now approach shareholders for final approval of the proposed funds. "The latest net asset value of each Subscription Share, based on BTL's Indian GAAP standalone management accounts as of 31 December 2017 was approximately INR23.8 and accordingly, the aggregate net asset value of the Subscription Shares is approximately $40.7m (INR2b)".

Earlier, Airtel had pared stake in tower arm Bharti Infratel. Through various transactions of stake sale in the subsidiary, it had raised Rs 12,089 crore.

According to an announcement, BTL is a promoter company of Bharti Airtel Limited (BAL), a company whose shares are listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange Limited (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd (NSE). However, analysts said this will bring in only a short-term relief to the industry reeling under financial stress.


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