New Delhi: Country’s top operator Bharti Airtel is looking to sell 5 per cent stake in its tower unit Infratel through an open market trade deal to raise about Rs 3,500 crore to Rs 4,000 crore.
Airtel has 71.70 per cent stake in Infratel. The company plans to sell 5 per cent stake in Infratel, proceeds of which are likely to be used to cut debt, sources said. They, however, did not give any timeline for the stake sale.
When contacted, a company spokesperson declined to comment. The net debt of Airtel stood at Rs 78,816 crore at the end of December 2015.
Ahead of the launch of Reliance Jio Infocomm, Airtel is aggressively expanding its 4G footprint. The company has already acquired 4G spectrum from Aircel and Videocon to become a pan-India player in the high-speed data services market.
Airtel has acquired rights to use 4G spectrum of Aircel in eight telecom circles for Rs 3,500 crore, while the deal for spectrum in six circles with Videocon Telecommunication stood at Rs 4,428 crore.
Telecom operators are consolidating their positions by loading up on spectrum ahead of Reliance Industries’ much talked about fourth-generation wireless services to be launched this year.