Bharti Telecom, a holding company for Bharti Airtel, is looking to clear its debts by selling a 2.75% stake in the operator for US$1 billion.
The Economic Times quoted a source as saying that: “Bharti Telecom intends to clean up debt at the promoter level, which will clear the path for it to inject more capital towards shareholder support at Airtel in the near future.”
By selling the stake, Bharti Telecom aims to reduce its own debt to zero as well as lowering Bharti Airtel’s ‘debt overhand’ – the term used by rating agencies to describe the liabilities of promoter groups when auditing a company’s finances.
At the end of March 2020, Bharti Telecom’s stake in Bharti Airtel stood at 38.79%. The holding firm is co-owned by Bharti Enterprises and Singapore’s Singtel. While both companies will see their holdings in Airtel reduced following the stake sale (respectively to 24.3% and 31.9%), each holds further shares in the operator via additional intermediaries.