India's third largest telecom operator Idea Cellular today completed the allotment of 326,633,165 equity shares to the Aditya Birla Group at an issue price of Rs.99.50 per share aggregating to Rs. 3,250 crore and now the aggregate shareholding of the promoter group in Idea has increased from 42.4 percent to 47.2 percent.
Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman, Aditya Birla Group said, "This equity infusion reiterates the Group's commitment towards the telecom business and confidence in its growth prospects. The idea is in the process of bringing a world-class 4G network to villages, towns, and cities across India that will contribute to the transition of the Indian populace towards a digital lifestyle."
He said, "With the planned fundraise combined with the recently announced sale of Idea's towers and potential monetization of the Indus stake, the Company will be better capitalized to participate in the growth opportunities offered by the sector."
The preferential allotment of equity shares follows the approval by the Board of Directors of Idea on 4th January 2018 for a total capital raise of up to Rs. 6,750 crore including Rs. 3,250 crore through a preferential allotment to the Promoter Group and up to Rs. 3,500 crore through a further preferential allotment, qualified institutional placement, rights issue or such other route that Idea's Board determines.
Furthermore, the telco said that, the equity infusion by the promoter group of Rs. 3,250 Crore, along with the proposed further capital raise of up to Rs. 3,500 Crore, will reduce Idea's net-debt and as a result, Vodafone's net-debt contribution to the merged entity will also be reduced by an equivalent amount.
Additionally, the recently announced sale of Idea's and Vodafone India's standalone towers to American Tower Corporation for an aggregate enterprise value of Rs. 7,850 Crore and the potential monetization of Idea's 11.15 percent stake in Indus Towers, will further augment the long-term capital resources of the Company. These proceeds will significantly strengthen the balance sheet of the merged entity (Idea and Vodafone India) creating a resilient entity for the future, Idea added.