Bharti Airtel zooms over 5% on tower deal report

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on January 09, 2018

Shares of Bharti Airtel ended the session up by 5.04 per cent as a media report said that a KKR-led consortium was in talks for a tower consolidation deal involving Airtel's tower arm Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers.

The consortium, comprising Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and GIC Singapore, are mulling a $11-billion bid that could see Bharti Infratel buying Indus Towers, a media report said, citing people aware of the matter.

Bharti Infratel, which currently owns 42 per cent in Indus Towers, will buy out all or almost all of the 58 per cent stake that other partners Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Providence Equity Partners hold in Indus Towers, it said.

Bharti Infratel could not be immediately reached for comment.

Tower infrastructure company Bharti Infratel on Monday reported 17 per cent drop in its consolidated net profit to ₹638 crore for the second quarter ended September 30, as compared with 774 crore in the same period last year.

However, the consolidated revenue for the July-September quarter rose by 11 per cent year-on-year (YoY) to ₹3,648 crore as against ₹3,292 crore in the corresponding period last year.

“As Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers, we are well positioned to grab our fair share of market and create sustainable value for all stakeholders,” Akhil Gupta, Chairman, Bharti Infratel, said.

He said that Indian telecom has embraced the data-centric model and is emerging as the showcase of digital technology with operators rolling out 4G networks and India planning a leadership role on upcoming 5G technology and associated applications.

“Leading operators have announced enhanced investment plans towards improvising digital infrastructure during the recently concluded India Mobile Congress. The government’s Smart Cities programme presents additional opportunity to create infrastructure for sharing on a non-discriminatory basis. All of this is good for the sector at large,” he said.

As of September 30, the company has a total tower base of 90,955, as compared to 90,837 towers in September 2016.

Shares of Bharti Infratel closed at ₹426 on the BSE on Monday, up 1.59 per cent from the previous close.

Published on October 11, 2017

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