India's leading telecom operator Bharti Airtel is in the process of selling 3.7% stake in Bharti Infratel for about Rs. 2,500 crore. Airtel, back in March had transferred 11.32% stake in the mobile tower arm Bharti Infratel to its subsidiary Nettle Infrastructure at a value of Rs. 6,806 crore.
A report by Press Trust of India (PTI) says that the company is looking to decrease its debt by selling off the stakes in Bharti Infratel. "Airtel is in the process of offloading 3.7 per cent stake in Bharti Infratel held through Nettle Infrastructure. Expected amount is Rs 2,550 crore. It will help the company lower its debt," says the report.
The stake sale has been kicked off through Bharti Airtel's wholly- owned subsidiary Nettle Infrastructure Investments Ltd, which is selling the Infratel shares in a price range of 378 rupees to 397.85 rupees each.
In March this year, the Sunil Mittal-led telco had transferred 11.32 per cent stake in Bharti Infratel to its subsidiary Nettle Infrastructure at a value of around Rs 6,806 crore. At the same time, Airtel had also sold 10.3 per cent stake in its mobile tower arm to a consortium of KKR and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for Rs 6,193.9 crore.
Currently, Bharti Airtel and Nettle together owned 61.65 percent of Bharti Infratel at the end of June. The report said that brokerages JPMorgan and UBS are managing the share sale.
Bharti Airtel's Q1 net profit declined around 75% yearly decline at Rs 367 crore from Rs 373 crore in the January-March quarter. The profit was impacted by the price war introduced by Reliance Jio. Airtel’s consolidated revenue fell 14% to Rs 21,958 crore from a year earlier Its India revenues stood at Rs 17,244 crore, declined by 10.0% Y-o-Y primarily led by a mobile drop of 14.1% Y-o-Y. It said that mobile market remains turbulent in the current quarter as well, due to disruptive pricing by a new operator.
Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO (India and South Asia) last month said that the company had done VoLTE trials in 5-6 cities, and the service will reach pan India by the end of March 2018.