Bharti Airtel board today approved the company's plans to raise up to Rs 16,500 crore through privately placed non-convertible debentures (NCDs) and a foreign currency bonds float. The fundraising is to conduct treasury operations including refinancing of debt and spectrum liabilities. The board of directors at Airtel in its meeting held today approved the NCDs issuance of Rs 10,000 crore along with the issuance of foreign currency bonds up to a limit of $1 billion, which comes to Rs 6,500 crore.
"Subject to approval of shareholders and other requisite approvals, the board of directors in its meeting held today has approved the issuance of NCDs of upto Rs 10,000 crore on a private placement basis in such tranches/series and at such rates as may be approved from time to time on a cumulative basis along with all NCDs issued by the company, and the issuance of foreign currency bonds upto a limit of $1 billion (Rs 6,482 crore) or equivalent in one or more tranches,” Bharti Airtel said in a regulatory filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange Monday as reported by Economic Times.
That said, this is the largest-ever fund-raise approved by Airtel's Board of Directors in a single meeting. It's also said that the fund raise activity will happen over the next few months.
“Any funds raised from issuance of aforesaid debt securities shall be used for routine treasury activities, including refinancing of existing debt and spectrum liabilities,” added the company.
The leading telecom operator also said that “earlier shareholders’ approval obtained for the issuance of NCDs up to Rs 10,000 crore is valid for a year until March 13, 2018.” This is the reason why Airtel is intending to obtain fresh shareholder approval.
Over the last one year, Airtel has been raising funds to meet the demand of consumers and also to overcome the threat of Reliance Jio. Airtel is largely selling its stake in its wholly owned tower arm Bharti Infratel, and until now, it has raised Rs 12,089 crore through various small stake dilusions.
Bharti Airtel's net debt stood at Rs 91,714 crore at the end of Q3FY18.