Airtel board approves raising $3 bn via debt, equity (Lead)
Wednesday - December 4, 2019 6:28 pm , Category : BUSINESS
New Delhi, Dec 4 (IANS) The board of telecom major Bharti Airtel on Wednesday approved a plan to raise $3 billion via Qualified Institution Placements (QIPs), stake sale, as well as by debt, to pay its adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues worth Rs 43,000 crore to the government by January 24.In a stock exchange filing, the company said that it will launch one or more QIPs, or offer for sale of equity shares, or a combination of similar offers to raise $2 billion. The balance $1 billion would be raised through debentures and bonds. The Airtel board has authorised the Special Committee of Directors for taking necessary steps for implementing the fundraising plans. "One or more Qualified InstitutionS Placements for an aggregate amount of $2 billion, issuance of unsecured and/or secured, listed and/or unlisted, Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds (FCCBs) in one or more tranches for an aggregate amount upto $1 billion (equivalent currency) on private placement basis or otherwise.."..and issuance of unsecured and/or secured, listed and/or unlisted, redeemable non-convertible debentures for an aggregate amount upto $1 billion private placement basis or otherwise. Apart from $2 billion, the overall issuance for now shall be upto $1 billion, thereby totaling to $3 billion," the Airtel filing said. India's top telecom player needs cash to meet its statutory dues. Airtel had reported a net loss of Rs 23,044 crore for the quarter ended September 30, on account of a Rs 28,450 crore provisioning towards its AGR dues. The company had provided Rs 28,450 crore as a charge for the quarter, consisting of the principal (Rs 6,164 crore), interest (Rs 12,219 crore), penalty (Rs 3,760 crore) and interest on penalty (Rs 6,307 crore. On Tuesday, Airtel hiked the prices of its prepaid plans by 10-40 per cent. The company said that it has increased tariff in the range of 50 paise per day to Rs 2.85. Airtel's popular bundled plans offering unlimited calling and data, that were earlier priced at Rs 249 (28 days validity) and Rs 448 (82 days validity), will now cost Rs 298 and Rs 598 (84 days validity), respectively. The announcement of this tariff hike came right after Vodafone Idea announced a hike in prepaid tariffs on Sunday. The Airtel stock closed higher on Wednesday at Rs 460.85 a share, up Rs 1.90, or by 0.41 per cent, over its previous close on the BSE.