Bharti Airtel sells 2.9% of tower unit Bharti Infratel for $310M

India's largest cellular services provider Bharti Airtel has sold 2.91 per cent equity stake in its tower arm Bharti Infratel Ltd through secondary market share on Thursday garnering raised Rs 1,925 crore (approximately $310 million), it said.

The telecom major offloaded 55 million equity shares, comprising to 2.91 per cent stake in Bharti Infratel, at a share price of Rs 350 – a discount of 3.7 per cent to last 30 day average closing price, Bharti Airtel said in the statement.

It said the overall demand was for $440 million or 1.42 times base deal size across investors from US, Europe and Asia. Earlier it had said it may sell an additional 17.5 million shares, which it chose not to exercise.

The proceeds from the stake sale would be utilised primarily to reduce debt.

Shares were acquired by global tower company investors, fund managers and long only funds, including many repeat investors.

With the stake sale, Bharti Airtel’s equity holding in Bharti Infratel has come down at 71.9 per cent.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch and UBS were brokers to the transaction.

Bharti Infratel is a provider of tower and related infrastructure for telecom sector. As on December 31, 2014, the total tower base of the company was at 85,064, along with 4,478 co-locations.

It had clocked an increase of 23 percent in consolidated net profit to Rs 507 crore during the December quarter, helped by its focus on fast roll-out of data networks. The consolidated revenue of the company grew about 8 per cent to Rs 2,949 crore for the quarter from Rs 2,731 crore in the year ago period.

Bharti Infratel closed the day at Rs 367.30 per share, down 0.94 per cent on BSE in weak Mumbai market on Thursday.

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