With barely four days to go its March 25 deadline to close its planned acquisition of the African unit of Kuwait-based Zain, Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Airtel on Sunday said it had tied up the entire $8.3 billion needed to seal the deal with a clutch of names in high finance, signalling its march towards the deal’s successful closure.
Standard Chartered Bank is the lead advisor and Barclays the joint lead advisor for $7.5 billion of the funds while the State Bank of India will be the lead onshore advisor. All three are mandated lead arrangers.
Other MLAs and co-advisors include ANZ Group, Banque Nationale de Paribas, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Agricole CIB, DBS, HSBC, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.
“The financing was oversubscribed,” said a Bharti Airtel press statement, adding that in addition to the US dollar funding, the SBI group had committed the rupee equivalent of $ 1 billion (or about Rs. 4,600 crore) to cover associated transaction costs.
“This is an indication that the deal is moving towards successful closure. However, the real challenge for Bharti will start after acquisition when it tries to turn this asset into a success story,” said Subodh Aggarwal, chairman of Euromax Capital, a London-based investment bank.
He said Zain was a “badly managed affair” with the lowest average revenue per user (ARPU) in the industry.