Feb 5: Bharti Airtel Ltd, a leading global telecommunications services provider with operations in 16 countries across Asia and Africa, on Monday announced that Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (Singtel), Asia’s leading communications and ICT solutions group and a long term partner of Airtel, will invest Rs 2,649 crore in Bharti Telecom Ltd, the promoter company of Airtel through preferential allotment of shares.
“With this investment, Singtel’s total stake (along with its affiliates) in Bharti Telecom will increase to 48.90%. Singtel currently holds 47.17% stake in Bharti Telecom. Bharti Enterprises continues to hold over 50% stake in Bharti Telecom,” Airtel said in a statement.
It further said that the fresh round of investment highlights the confidence of Singtel in Airtel, and the increased attractiveness of the Indian telecoms sector following the recent consolidation. The investment comes within 23 months of Singtel’s participation in Bharti Telecom’s Right Issue of Rs 2,500 crore, which was completed in February 2016.
According to the company, the transaction is subject to the shareholders’ approval of Bharti Telecom. The funds raised will be used towards debt reduction, it added.
Commenting on the development, Deven Khanna, Managing Director, Bharti Telecom, said, “Airtel shares a nearly two decade-long relationship with Singtel, which has only become stronger over the years. The fresh round of investment highlights the confidence of Singtel in Airtel, and the increased attractiveness of the Indian telecoms sector following the recent consolidation.”
Airtel shares surged more than 5% intraday today on BSE after the news came in. At 11.43 am, the Rs 5 face value shares were trading at Rs 439.80, up 4.27% from the previous closing of Rs 421.80.