Bharti Airtel Limited on Tuesday announced the successful completion of the secondary sale of over 190 million shares of its subsidiary Bharti Infratel Limited, representing a 10.3 per cent stake, to a consortium of funds advised by KKR and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) for over Rs 6,193.9 crore (approximately $951.6 million), executed at a price of Rs 325 per share.
India’s largest telecommunications services provider will primarily use the proceeds from this sale to reduce its debt. Following the closure of this transaction, Bharti Airtel’s equity holding in Bharti Infratel stands at 61.7 per cent, and that of KKR and CPPIB at 10.3 per cent.
Airtel Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said, “This investment by a consortium of marquee long-term investors underlines the confidence of the global investors in India’s growth story and the government’s Digital India initiative in particular. It further reinforces the positive outlook for the telecom infrastructure sector. The long-term investment horizon of the investors aligns well with the capital needs and business cycles of Bharti Infratel.”
This transaction makes it KKR’s second investment in Bharti Infratel. Previously, the funds managed by KKR had invested in Bharti Infratel during the period 2008 to 2015. Post this transaction, the stake held by KKR and CPPIB (combined) will be the single largest public shareholder block.