Indian market leader Bharti Airtel is looking to raise as much as $1 billion to fund its participation in upcoming spectrum auctions as well as potential acquisitions.
Bharti is aiming to lead the charge for consolidation in India’s mobile sector, and a bond issue would facilitate this. In addition, the operator is aiming to make $3-4 billion available for the auctions, which are expected to take place in January 2014.
The auctions are for frequencies in the 900MHz band in three major circles – the cities of Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai. Bharti’s licences in the first two of these are due to expire in late 2014.
If the bond issue goes ahead, it would be Bharti’s third this year. The operator is reportedly keen to target European investors.