Airtel to lower direct stake in telecom tower firm Infratel

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on March 12, 2019 Published on March 12, 2019

32 per cent shares to be transferred to unit; stock price goes up post announcement

Bharti Airtel is planning to reduce its direct stake in telecom tower firm Bharti Infratel by more than half, to 18.3 per cent by selling about 32 per cent of shares to another subsidiary, Nettle Infrastructure Investments Ltd.

The board of Bharti Airtel, in order to explore a potential monetisation of stake in Bharti Infratel in the future, has approved sale or transfer of up to 59.19 crore shares of Infratel to Nettle Infrastructure Investments in its meeting on December 20, the company informed the stock exchanges on Tuesday. This was also informed to the stock exchanges on the same day, it added.

The New Delhi-based company was replying to a stock exchange query, which sought an explanation for the company’s stock price rising 6 per cent during the day. The query was raised following certain media reports that said: “Bharti Airtel surges 6 per cent post co to sell stake in Bharti Infratel.”

Share prices

At present, Bharti Airtel owns 50.33 per cent and Nettle owns 3.18 per cent stake in Bharti Infratel. Shares in Bharti Airtel closed up 5.12 per cent at ₹350.80, while that in Bharti Infratel ended down 0.86 per cent at ₹316.60 on a strong BSE.

Earlier on March 7, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte said it will invest ₹5,000 crore in Airtel in an attempt to boost the company’s war chest amid cut-throat competition. GIC, which joins investors from Japan to Canada to invest in the telecom operator, will pick up about 4 per cent stake in Airtel by subscribing to the operator’s ₹25,000 crore rights issue.

GIC’s investment will be part of the rights issue in which its promoters — Bharti Group, Bharti Telecom and Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (Singtel) — will also take part.

Published on March 12, 2019
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