Bharti Airtel Ltd on Monday said its board has approved a plan to raise as much as Rs16,500 crore by selling non-convertible debentures and foreign currency bonds to refinance borrowings and pay spectrum-related dues to the government.
The board of the company approved "issuance of non-convertible debentures (NCDs) of up to Rs 10,000 crore on a private placement basis" and "issuance of foreign currency bonds up to a limit of Dollars 1 billion or equivalent in one or more tranches", Airtel said in a regulatory filing.
The company will now approach shareholders for final approval of the proposed funds.
In December a year ago, United States private equity giant Warburg Pincus acquired a 20 per cent stake in Bharti Telemedia Ltd, the DTH arm of Airtel, for around Rs 2,310 crore. During the day, it soared 5.68 per cent to Rs 424.80.
"Pursuant to Regulation 30 of SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015, we wish to inform you that the Board in its meeting held on March 12, 2018, has approved the transfer of 19 per cent equity shares of Bharti Telemedia Limited ('Telemedia'), a subsidiary Company to Nettle Infrastructure Investments Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary company", the release to the BSE stated. "The latest net asset value of each Subscription Share, based on BTL's Indian GAAP standalone management accounts as of 31 December 2017 was approximately INR23.8 and accordingly, the aggregate net asset value of the Subscription Shares is approximately $40.7m (INR2b)".
In its exercise to reduce debt and take on the intense competition of Reliance Jio, Airtel is on a fundraising spree. Meanwhile, its rival Idea Cellular too raised funds to build a war chest for the battle in the telecom sector.