Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Qatari investor selling $1.46 billion stake in India's Bharti Airtel

Around 166.10 million shares or 4.2% stake of Bharti Airtel changed hands in seven block deals. However details of the buyers and sellers were not Qatar Affiliate to Sell Airtel Stake For Rs 9,500 Crore
Frank Williams | 09 November, 2017, 20:49

India's largest telecom network provider Bharti Airtel slipped over 6.7 percent intraday on National Stock Exchange (NSE) on Wednesday, as a Qatar-based investor plans to sell 5 percent of its stake whose valuation is nearly Rs 9,500 crore ($1.46 billion).

"Three Pillars has put up for sale through stock market transactions about 19.99 crore shares in Bharti Airtel in a price range of Rs 473-490 each, according to a deal term sheet", Reuters said in its report.

"In May 2013, TPPL invested Rs 68 billion (Rs 6,800 crore) in Bharti Airtel, to strengthen the capital structure and allow further investment for growth". Given the sale price of Rs 481 per share, the sale of this stake realises a significant gain for TPPL.

A decision to sell a $1.5 bln stake in Bharti Airtel may have been forced.

The Gulf countries cut ambassadorial and transport bond with Doha on June 5, blaming it for backing terrorism, a charge which Doha refuses. This is the second multi-billion dollar deal at the Bharti counter in less than a week.

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The QFE Group will reinvest the proceeds globally, as we continue to grow and diversify our portfolio.

"We are delighted to have partnered with Bharti Airtel through an important stage of their growth". TPPL's representative on Bharti Airtel's board will now step down.

Bharti Airtel Ltd is now trading at Rs 490.75, down by Rs 23.6 or 4.59% from its previous closing of Rs 514.35 on the BSE. A Bharti Airtel spokesperson declined to comment on the stake sale by the Qatari investor. "We remain firm supporters of the Bharti Airtel business, the management team, and their strategy, and wish them well in the future", Rashid Al-Naimi added.

The stake sale comes amid disruptive developments in both countries. "Indian telecom stocks, including Bharti Airtel, have also gained on signs of an end to a bruising price war and hopes that industry consolidation will benefit established players".

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