Telecom operator Bharti Airtel has increased its stake in Bharti Infratel by around 5%, the telco confirmed via a stock exchange filing. Nettle Infrastructure Investments Ltd, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, raised its stake in Bharti Infratel by 4.94% for an aggregate of Rs 2,882.32 crore. This news is reported by ET Telecom. In the stock exchange filing, Bharti Airtel confirmed that Providence (a US private equity firm) sold its 3.25% stake in the merged entity of Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers. The remaining stake was sold off by foreign institutional investors and overseas fund house Edge Point. The overall share of Bharti Airtel in Bharti Infratel increased to 41.66% from 36.73%.
Bharti Airtel Increases Stake in Bharti Infratel to 41.66%
As noted, Nettle Infrastructure Investments Ltd. has acquired the entire stake of 3.25% from Providence, whereas foreign institutional investors and Edge Point sold the remaining stake. “Nettle Infrastructure Investments Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company, has acquired an additional equity stake of 4.94% (or 13.3 crore shares) in Bharti Infratel Ltd. today,” Bharti Airtel said in a stock exchange filing, according to ET Telecom. Airtel also stated that the stake was acquired in open market block deals by paying Rs 2,882.32 crore.
With this new stake purchase, Airtel' overall share in Bharti Infratel rises to 41.66%, of which Nettle' stake is 18.62%. Under creeping acquisition norms, promoter purchases are capped at 5% of the equity in a year, the telco further added.
Late in November, Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers announced the completion of their merger, and the new company will be named as Indus Towers Limited. While Bharti Airtel holds 41.66% stake in Bharti Infratel, Vodafone Group holds 28.12% stake in the merged tower company. Vodafone Idea already exited the merged entity by selling off its 11.15% stake for Rs 3,760 crore. Vi might use the stake sale money for repaying the spectrum dues to the government.
After the merger, Indus Towers Limited became the world's largest tower company with 1,63,000 towers across all the telecom circles in India.