Singtel concludes Rs 2649 crore investment in Bharti Telecom

Singtel concludes Rs 2649 crore investment in Bharti Telecom

Bharti Airtel Ltd on Monday said its board has approved a plan to raise as much as Rs16,500 crore by selling non-convertible debentures and foreign currency bonds to refinance borrowings and pay spectrum-related dues to the government.

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 for routine treasury activities including refinancing of existing debt and spectrum liabilities", the filing said. The development assumes importance in the wake of intense competition in the telecom sector triggered by the entry of a new player Reliance Jio.

Airtel will now approach shareholders for final approval of the propose raising of debt.

During the third quarter ended December 31, 2017, Bharti Airtel had a consolidated net debt of Rs 91,714 crore compared with Rs 91,480 crore in the preceding quarter.

Back in December past year, the Bharti group had announced plans to sell a fifth of its DTH arm to an affiliate of global private equity firm Warburg Pincus, for around Rs 2,258 crore ($350 million), with most of the funds being consumed by Bharti Airtel to fight mounting competition from Reliance Jio.

The earlier shareholders' nod to raise NCDs up to Rs 10,000 crore is valid till March 12, 2018, which is why the company plans to take a fresh approval from shareholders, according to the BSE filing.

Last month, Bharti Airtel had said it would transfer its 25 % stake in Bharti Telemedia to wholly owned arm Nettle Infrastructure Investments. Post the news, shares of Bharti Airtel rose almost 5 per cent and its stock jumped 4.68 per cent to end at Rs 420.75 on BSE. During the day, it soared 5.68 per cent to Rs 424.80.