Bharti Telecom group has announced that it is to reduce its stake in India’s third biggest telco, Bharti Airtel, raising close to $1 billion in the process to pay down its debts.
Reports in the Indian press suggest that Bharti Telecom will reduce its stake in Bharti Airtel from 38.79 per cent to 36.04 per cent. The sale of the 2.75 per cent stake is expected to raise close to $1 billion.
The sale will be conducted with JP Morgan India, with an individual share price of 558 rupees ($7.37) per share.
Like all of India’s telcos, Bharti Airtel is enduring a torrid time at present, as the industry struggles to break even through a combination of wafer thin trading margins and spiraling levels of debt.
Last week the country’s department of telecoms announced that it would be delaying its proposed 5G spectrum auction until at least 2021, due to a lack of appetite from operators. Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio had all publicly stated that the proposed reserve price was too high for them to consider participating.