Vodafone sells 18 pc stake in Indus Towers for Rs 15,300 crore

Vodafone sells 18 pc stake in Indus Towers for Rs 15,300 crore

New Delhi | British telecom player Vodafone on Wednesday said it has sold an 18 per cent stake in Indus Towers for 1.7 billion euro (about Rs 15,300 crore).

Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel has increased its stake by acquiring 2.69 crore shares, representing a 1 per cent stake, in Indus Towers.

The shares were acquired by Airtel at an average price of Rs 320 apiece, taking the transaction value to Rs 862.38 crore, as per the bulk deal data.

Indus Towers is India's largest mobile tower installation company.

The company will use the major portion of the proceeds to pay 1.8 billion euro outstanding bank borrowings taken against Vodafone's assets in India.

"Vodafone Group Plc...sold 484.7 million shares in Indus Towers Limited, representing 18 per cent of Indus' share capital through an accelerated book-build offering.

"The placing raised Rs 153.0 billion (1.7 billion euro) in gross proceeds, which will be used to substantially repay Vodafone's existing lenders in relation to the outstanding bank borrowings of 1.8 billion euro secured against Vodafone's Indian assets," Vodafone said in a note.

Following the transaction, Vodafone now holds 82.5 million shares or 3.1 per cent stake in Indus Towers.

"Pursuant to the approval of Special Committee to acquire up to 27 million equity shares of Indus Towers, the company has acquired around 26.95 million (i.e. 1 per cent) equity shares on-market today," Airtel said in a regulatory filing.

With this transaction, Airtel's stake in Indus Towers increased to 48.95 per cent from the 47.95 per cent stake it held earlier.

As per the bulk deal data available on the National Stock Exchange (NSE), Bharti Airtel Ltd, Authum Investment and Infrastructure, Ghisallo Capital Management LLC, Kotak Securities, and SBI Mutual Fund (MF) together acquired a total of 11.20 crore shares of Indus Towers.

SBI MF picked up 3.58 crore shares of Indus Towers in two tranches, Bharti Airtel bought 2.69 crore shares, Ghisallo Capital Management LLC purchased 1.98 crore shares, Authum Investment and Infra acquired 1.49 crore scrips, and Kotak Securities bought 1.45 crore shares of Gurugram-based Indus Towers.

The shares were acquired in the range of Rs 311.40-325.48 apiece, as per the data on the NSE.

Meanwhile, Kotak Securities also sold 73.07 lakh shares of Indus Towers at an average price of Rs 331.25. This took the deal value to Rs 242.06 crore.

Details of the other buyers of Indus Towers shares were not ascertained.

As of the March quarter shareholding pattern on the BSE, Vodafone Group through its affiliates held a 21.06 per cent stake in Indus Towers.

On Wednesday, the scrip of Indus Towers fell 3.06 per cent to settle at Rs 334 apiece on the NSE, while the shares closed 2.88 per cent down at Rs 334 apiece on the BSE.

In March 2022, Bharti Airtel, along with its wholly-owned subsidiary, had acquired about 4.7 per cent stake in Indus Towers from Euro Pacific Securities, an affiliate of Vodafone Group.