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Updated on: Wednesday, August 25, 2021, 11:57 PM IST

Bharti Airtel board to meet on August 29 to consider fundraising options

PTI
Bharti Airtel did not divulge into the quantum of capital raising under consideration/ Representational image |

Bharti Airtel did not divulge into the quantum of capital raising under consideration/ Representational image |

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Telecom operator Bharti Airtel on Wednesday said its board will meet on August 29 to consider various capital raising options, including equity and debt.

The fundraising options entail equity or equity-linked or debt instruments, the company said in a regulatory filing but did not divulge into the quantum of capital raising under consideration.

The latest move is expected to give more fire power to Airtel, as the company takes on rivals in the fiercely-competitive Indian telecom market that is now gearing up for 5G.

"A meeting of the board of directors of the company is scheduled on Sunday, August 29, 2021, to inter-alia consider various capital raising options through equity or equity-linked or debt instruments or any combination thereof, as the board may deem appropriate," Bharti Airtel said in a BSE filing.

As per subscriber data released by telecom regulator recently, Bharti Airtel added 38.1 lakh wireless subscribers in June, pushing up its mobile user base to 35.2 crore.

Reliance Jio cemented its lead, gaining 54.6 lakh users in June, as its mobile subscriber base swelled to 43.6 crore during the month.

Troubled Vodafone Idea continued to lose mobile subscribers in June, ceding fresh ground to rivals Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel. Vodafone Idea lost about 42.8 lakh subscribers during June, and its user base shrunk to 27.3 crore, compounding the woes of the debt-laden telco that is struggling to stay afloat.

Amid the existential issues being faced by Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL), industry analysts have sounded an alarm over the risks of Indian telecom market turning into a duopoly.

Recently, billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla stepped down as chairman of Vodafone Idea Ltd, within two months of offering to hand over Aditya Birla Group's stake in the telco over to the government, in a bid to avert a crisis for the telecom company.

As per the Q1 report card released by the telco, the total gross debt (excluding lease liabilities and including interest accrued but not due) as of June 30, 2021, of VIL stood at Rs 1,91,590 crore. It comprised deferred spectrum payment obligations of Rs 1,06,010 crore and adjusted gross revenue (AGR) liability of Rs 62,180 crore that are due to the government.

Recently, Minister of State for Communications Devusinh Chauhan informed Rajya Sabha in a written reply that while the total AGR dues of various telecom companies (both private and state-owned telcos) aggregated to Rs 1,69,048.65 crore, payment totalling Rs 30,283.59 crore has been received till date, and nearly Rs 1,38,765 crore is outstanding payable.

For Bharti Airtel Group, whose overall dues stood at Rs 43,980 crore, payment of Rs 18,004 crore has been received even as Rs 25,976 crore is outstanding payable.

Last year, the Supreme Court had said that telcos would be required to make the payment of 10 per cent of the total dues by March 31, 2021, while balance dues are to be paid in annual instalments commencing from April 1, 2021 up to March 31, 2031, payable by March 31 of every succeeding financial year.

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Published on: Wednesday, August 25, 2021, 11:57 PM IST
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