Vodafone hopes to finally sell off its Indus Towers stake this week

Vodafone hopes to finally sell off its Indus Towers stake this week

Vodafone Group is reportedly seeking to unload part or all of its 21.5% stake in Indian telecoms tower operator Indus Towers this week to raise cash to help repay its debts.

According to a report from Reuters on Friday, citing “two sources with direct knowledge”, Vodafone has not yet settled on how much of its stake it will sell, which partly depends on demand.

Vodafone is planning to sell the Indus stake via stock market block deals. Based on Friday’s share price, the 21.5% stake in Indus is worth around US$2.3 billion. The sources told Reuters Vodafone might go for a partial selloff if there’s not enough demand for the entire stake.

Vodafone has been looking to exit Indus since at least 2022 – at which point its stake was 28% – but has yet to find someone willing to take the entire stake. Last April, Bharti Airtel – which is Indus’ largest shareholder with a 47.95% stake – denied media reports that it was looking to buy Vodafone’s Indus stake.

Private equity giant KKR and Canadian fund CPPIB sold their stakes in Indus in February, the report said.

According to the report, the funds raised from the sale would go towards paying off Vodafone’s net debt, which currently stands at its US$42.17 billion.

The news emerged two weeks after Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal warned Vodafone Idea that it must pay up all of its past dues to Indus – or at least pay some of the overdue amount and provide a payment schedule for the remaining balance – before it can use its towers for new projects such as its 5G rollout.

Last week, news emerged that Vodafone Idea is reportedly planning to raise up to US$293.2 million via a preferential issue of equity shares to the local units of telecoms equipment suppliers Nokia and Ericsson.


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