Bharti Airtel seeks to raise $3 billion to fund AGR dues

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on November 30, 2019 Published on November 30, 2019

Bharti Airtel is planning to raise about $3 billion (₹21,000 crore) through various modes, mainly to pay Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) charges, for which the operator has convened a board meeting on Wednesday.

The board will evaluate all modes of fund raising such as issuance of equity shares, bonds including foreign currency convertible bonds, equity-based instruments, qualified institutions placement or rights issue or a combination of these, said Bharti Airtel in a stock exchange filing.

“The plan is to seek approvals to raise $3 billion, which along with internal accruals would be needed to pay AGR dues. The operator has put investment bankers also on alert,” a banking source, briefed on the development, told BusinessLine. When contacted, a Bharti Airtel spokesperson declined to comment.

For the second quarter ended September 30, Bharti Airtel had posted a net loss of ₹23,045 crore, its highest-ever net loss, mainly on account of provisioning for AGR payouts. Rival Vodafone Idea also recorded a loss of ₹50,921 crore, the highest-ever loss for a corporate in India, during the same quarter.

Airtel has provided for an additional charge totalling ₹28,450 crore. The same for Vodafone Idea stood at ₹25,677.9 crore.

The operators – Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio Infocomm – have also announced plans to hike tariffs from December, in an attempt to mitigate the “acute financial stress” in the sector.

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Published on November 30, 2019
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