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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Apr 2014

Bharti Infratel IPO set to raise up to $825 mn

Reuters  New Delhi/Mumbai, November 30, 2012
First Published: 11:20 IST(30/11/2012) | Last Updated: 11:25 IST(30/11/2012)

Bharti Infratel Ltd, the telecommunications tower unit of top phone carrier Bharti Airtel Ltd, is set to raise up to $825 million in December in what would be the country's biggest initial share offering in two years.

The company, controlled by billionaire Sunil Mittal, has set a price band of Rs. 210 to Rs. 240 per share for its initial public offering, which will open on December 10 for cornerstone investors and close on December 14, it said on Friday.

The offering - 188.9 million shares or 10% of Bharti Infratel - is in line to be India's biggest since state-run Coal India Ltd raised $3.5 billion in October 2010.

At the upper end of the price band, Bharti Infratel would raise about 45.3 billion rupees ($825 million), and at the low end Rs. 39.7 billion.

Bharti Infratel plans to sell 146.2 million new shares, while four of its shareholders, including arms of Singapore state investor Temasek and Goldman Sachs, are selling 42.7 million shares, according to a regulatory filing.

Bharti Airtel, which owns about 86% of Bharti Infratel, is not selling any shares.

Bharti Infratel has more than 33,000 mobile phone masts and holds a 42% stake in Indus Towers, the world's biggest telecoms tower company, which has about 110,000 towers in India.

Mast companies earn their revenue from leasing infrastructure to mobile phone carriers.

A court order revoking the several carriers' operating permits has weighed on demand for towers in recent months.

Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan, Barclays Standard Chartered, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and UBS, as well as Kotak Mahindra and Enam, are advising Bharti Infratel on the IPO.

Its shares will be listed on Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange, the company said in a statement.

Bharti Infratel is one of many Indian share offerings due to come to the market before the end of the year, as companies in Asia's third-largest economy tap a revival in appetite for riskier assets after a lacklustre first half.

The government's share sale in miner NMDC Ltd to raise roughly $1.2 billion is likely to be launched on December 13, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said on Thursday.

Indian companies raised $7.1 billion from share offerings in the first half of this year, down 4% from the same period in 2011, according to Thomson Reuters data.

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