Bharti Infratel near to appointing banks for IPO, say reports

21 Aug 2012

Bharti Infratel, the Indian passive infrastructure subsidiary of telecoms giant Bharti Airtel, is ‘soon’ likely to appoint banks to conduct its previously proposed initial public offering (IPO) of around 10% of its share capital, according to local reports. A source familiar with the situation, quoted by the Hindustan Times, said that international bankers made presentations yesterday to this effect, although a final decision on the IPO will depend on market conditions and the initial response to the issue. Bharti Airtel reported to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on 8 August 2012 that it had appointed a committee of its board of directors to consider the listing of the equity shares of Bharti Infratel, subject to approval by existing shareholders of the company. TeleGeography notes that Airtel may be looking at alternative ways to raise capital including sales of shares at Infratel – which owns over 33,000 wireless towers across India – as rising costs have cut into its earnings ever since its USD10.7 billion acquisition of most of Zain Group’s African operations in early 2010. As reported by CommsUpdate, Airtel recorded consolidated net profits of INR7.6 billion (USD136 million) for the quarter ended 30 June 2012, compared to INR12.2 billion a year earlier, while its EBITDA margin was 30.2% for the three-month period, down by 3.4 and 3.1 percentage points year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter respectively.

India, Bharti Airtel