The country's largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel (Airtel), on Monday, announced that Singapore Telecommunications Limited (Singtel), will invest Rs 2,649 crore in Bharti Telecom Limited.
Singtel is Asia's leading communications and ICT solutions group and a long-term partner of Airtel, and Bharti Telecom is the promoter company of Airtel through preferential allotment of shares. "The transaction is subject to the shareholders' approval of Bharti Telecom. The funds raised will be used towards debt reduction," Airtel said in a statement.
Deven Khanna, Managing Director, Bharti Telecom, said, "Airtel shares a nearly two-decade-long relationship with Singtel, which has only become stronger over the years. The fresh round of investment highlights the confidence of Singtel in Airtel and the increased attractiveness of the Indian telecoms sector following the recent consolidation."
With this investment, Singtel's total stake in Bharti Telecom will increase to 48.90 percent. Currently, it holds 47.17 percent stake in Bharti Telecom. Bharti Enterprises continues to hold over 50 percent stake in Bharti Telecom.
The fresh round of investment highlights the confidence of Singtel in Airtel and the increased attractiveness of the Indian telecoms sector following the recent consolidation.
The investment comes within 23 months of Singtel's participation in Bharti Telecom's Right Issue of Rs. 2500 Crores, which was completed in February 2016.
This year in January, the telco also announced that it has received an approval for the acquisition of Tigo Rwanda Limited ("Tigo Rwanda"), a subsidiary of Millicom International Cellular S.A. ("Millicom") from the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA).
The merged entity will have the largest customer base in Rwanda with 5.9 million subscribers. The combined networks of the two companies will serve customers with voice/ data services, global roaming, and mobile banking services. It will also have Rwanda's largest sales and distribution network.
The merger will result in the only negative EBITDA OpCo joining other 13 positive EBITDA OpCos in Africa.
On completion, the acquisition will undergo seamless integration, both on the customer as well as the network side and further strengthen Airtel's market position in Rwanda.