Bharti Airtel says that it has raised US$1.26 billion by selling a five per cent stake in the company to the Qatar Foundation Endowment (QFE) – an investment company owned by the Qatari royal family.
Airtel will issue just under 200 million new shares to QFE representing a shareholding of five per cent in the company, post issuance of the new shares. QFE is paying a 7.3% premium over the public share price for its investment.
In a brief statement, Airtel said that the investment will further strengthen the capital structure and provide further flexibility for the company to deliver on its growth strategy.
The company currently has US$11.7 billion of debt and has been looking to pay down the ratio in advance of further investments in radio spectrum purchases and one-off spectrum fees being applied by the Indian government.