To reduce its debt, India's largest telecom service provider Bharti Airtel is likely to sell 3.7 percent stake in its tower unit Bharti Infratel for about Rs. 2,500 crore.
"Airtel is in process of offloading 3.7 percent stake in Bharti Infratel held through Nettle Infrastructure. Expected amount is Rs 2,550 crore. It will help the company lower its debt," according to the report by PTI.
Airtel in March this year, had transferred 11.32 percent stake from Bharti Infratel to its wholly-owned subsidiary Nettle Infrastructure at a value of around Rs 6,806 crore. At the same time, the company had also sold 10.3 percent stake in its tower unit to a consortium of KKR and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for Rs 6,193.9 crore.
To recall, Bharti Airtel's reported 75 percent decline in its first quarter profit from Rs 1,462 crores to 367 crores in the three months ended 30 June.
Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, India & South Asia, said, "The pricing disruption in the Indian telecom market caused by the entry of a new operator continued with industry revenues declining over 15 percent Year-on-Year (Y-o- Y), creating further stress on sector profitability, cash flows, and leverage."
He said, "Consequently, our revenues declined 10 percent and EBITDA margin eroded by 5.3 percent Y-o-Y. We remain committed to providing the best value & experience to our customers and continue to invest towards it. As a result, our network witnessed data and voice traffic growth of 200 percent & 34 percent Y-o-Y respectively. We also added 5.2 million data customers in the last quarter - our highest ever."
The company also says that India revenues for Q1'18 at Rs 17,244 crore have declined by 10.0 percent Y-o-Y primarily led by the mobile drop of 14.1 percent Y-o-Y.