Bharti Infratel shares fall as Airtel subsidiary sells stake

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Bharti Airtel on Tuesday made successful divestment of 83 million shares in it's subsidiary Bharti Infratel via it's another wholly-owned subsidiary Nettle Infrastructure Investments Limited. The secondary share sale was executed at Rs 400.6 per share, representing 3.6 per cent discount to the previous day's closing price, Airtel said in a statement. Its debt stood at Rs 91,480 crore at the end of September, PTI reported.

After Tuesday's share sale, the stake of Bharti Airtel and its wholly-owned subsidiaries in Bharti Infratel would come down to 53.51 per cent.

The firm said the share sale saw interest from various global investors, fund managers and long-only funds, including many repeat investors. Indian telecom operators have been hit by the entry of Reliance Jio, which has been offering free voice calls and data at dirt-cheap prices.

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According to a term sheet seen by ET, India's top telco was planning to sell 65.43 million shares, or 3.5 per cent in Bharti Infratel, in the price band of Rs 400 to Rs 415.5 a share, or at a maximum 3.7 per cent discount to the stock's last closing price on the National Stock Exchange (NSE). Airtel net profit for the second quarter was whittled down to a mere Rs 343 crore from a robust Rs 1,461 crore in the July - September quarter of 2016-17. JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and UBS were the joint agreements for the transaction.

Bharti Airtel has consistently said that it plans to reduce its stake in Bharti Infratel.

Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, which are headed for a merger, said yesterday that they have separately chose to sell their tower businesses in India to ATC Telecom Infrastructure for Rs 7,850 crore. Both Vodafone and Idea Cellular are in the process of merger. Net worth of Infratel was at Rs 9,141.3 crore in FY17.