Bharti Airtel gets board approval to raise Rs 32,000 cr via rights issue, bond

MUMBAI: Telecom operator Bharti Airtel’s Board Thursday approved fund raising plans of up to Rs 32,000 crore through a mix of rights issue and bond. The move is aimed at mobilising to take on Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio, which has disrupted the Indian telecom sector since its launch.

Bharti Airtel’s fund raising plans comes in the wake of Vodafone and Aditya Birla Group’s decision to infuse over Rs 18,000 crore into Vodafone Idea through a rights issue.

In a statement, Bharti Airtel said the Board of Directors have “approved the fund raising of upto Rs 32,000 crore through rights issuance of upto Rs 25,000 crore and Perpetual Bond with equity credit upto Rs 7,000 crore”.

Perpetual bond of up to $1 billion (about Rs 7,000 crores) denominated in foreign currency is “subject to price, market conditions and other terms and conditions as acceptable, and with conditions allowing for full accounting equity credit and subject to all applicable laws…”

The terms of the rights issue cleared by the Board include price of Rs 220 per fully paid equity share (a premium of Rs 215 per fully paid equity share over face value of Rs 5 per share); and a rights entitlement ratio of 19 shares for every 67 shares held by eligible shareholders, the statement added.

The Board has authorised the ‘Special Committee of Directors for Fund Raising’ to proceed with rights issue, and determine its terms and conditions including setting the record date, finalisation of the Letter of Offer and other details, and also authorised the ‘Committee of Directors’ to decide, assess and conclude on the issuance of the Perpetual Bond.

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