India’s largest mobile network operator- Bharti Airtel has put on hold plans to sell controlling stake in its mobile tower arm Bharti Infratel but has decided to monetize 21.63% equity in the company.
Bharti Airtel stated in the regulatory statement, “….the Board has at its meeting held on March 14, 2017 …decided not to monetise a controlling stake in Infratel for now.”
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400 million shares has been decided to sell or transfer either to company’s wholly owned subsidiary Nettle Infrastructure Investment Limited or to potential investor.
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The statement added, “Instead, the Board has decided that the company undertake a sale/transfer of upto 400 million Infratel equity shares owned by company which is over and above a controlling stake in Infratel, in such tranche(s), at such time(s) and for such consideration as may be deemed fit to its wholly-owned subsidiary Nettle Infrastructure Investments Limited and/or to any other potential investor(s).”
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Bharti Airtel had authorized a Committee of Directors on October 25, 2016 to evaluate options for significant stake’s monetization in Bharti Infratel.
Bharti Airtel will hold 50.33% stake after sale or transfer of 400 million shares, Nettle or the potential investor will have 21.63% and other shareholder 28.04% stake in Bharti Infratel.
Bharti Airtel’s consolidated tower base includes its share in Indus Towers which stood at 90,255 towers at the end of 2016.
While Bharti Airtel booked 50% decline in third quarter’s net profit at December 31, 2016 and at the same quarter its mobile tower segment booked 25% increase in consolidated net profit at Rs 620 crore. Last year, it had registered net profit of Rs 495 in the same quarter.
The Bharti Infratel’s consolidated revenue increased by 10% to 3,400 crore during the third quarter of October-December, 2016-17, as against Rs 3,105.5 crore in the same period of 2015-16.
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