Airtel to consider share buyback amid tower stake sale speculation

India’s leading telco, Bharti Airtel, is expected to consider a buy back of equity shares in its board meeting on April 27. Airtel, in a BSE filing, said that the board of directors of the company will consider to recommend final dividend for the financial year ended March 31, 2016 or buy back of equity shares of the company or a combination thereof, in its meeting scheduled to be held on April 27, 2016.

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The Sunil Mittal-led company however did not specify the number of shares it mulls to buy back. Currently, the promoters hold 66.74% shareholding in Bharti Airtel, whereas public shareholding of the company stands at 33.2%.

The move comes amid stake sale speculation in the company’s tower unit Bharti Infratel through an open market trade deal to raise about Rs 3,500 crore to Rs 4,000 crore. According to media reports, the proceeds of the stake sale in the tower unit are likely to be used to cut debt, which stood at Rs 78,816 crore at the end of December 2015.

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