Airtel To Raise Rs 16500 Crore For Spectrum Payment, Refinancing Debt

Airtel To Raise Rs 16500 Crore For Spectrum Payment, Refinancing Debt”

The Bharti Airtel board on Monday approved plans to raise upto a whopping Rs 16,500 crore through a mix of privately placed non-convertible debentures (NCDs) and a foreign currency bonds float for conducting treasury operations, including refinancing of debt and spectrum liabilities.

The country's biggest telecom company has been facing stiff competition from Reliance Jio that began services in September 2016. Earlier this year, the third largest player Idea Cellular, which is set for a merger with Vodafone, had raised Rs 6,750 crore. The company, that carried a debt of over Rs 90,000 crore at the end of December a year ago, said that its board had approved the measure which would be used for "routine treasury activities".

According to the company, funds from the issue of these securities will be used for "routine treasury activities, including refinancing of existing debt and spectrum liabilities".

Shares of Bharti Airtel today rose almost 5 per cent after the company received approval from the board to raise up to Rs 16,500 crore for refinancing debt and paying for spectrum liabilities.

Earlier, Airtel had pared stake in tower arm Bharti Infratel. It has raised almost Rs 12,089 crore through multiple tiny stake dilutions in its tower arm.

At 14:06 hrs Bharti Airtel was quoting at Rs 416.20, up Rs 14.25, or 3.55 percent on the BSE.

Also, a meeting of committee of directors is scheduled on March 13, to consider and subject to market and other conditions, issue listed, unsecured, rated, redeemable, Non-convertible Debentures (NCDs Series I and II) on private placement basis aggregating upto Rs 3,000 crore. However, analysts said this will bring in only a short-term relief to the industry reeling under financial stress.

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