Customers wait to pay their bills at a Bharti Airtel Ltd. store in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Bharti Airtel Gets SEBI Nod For Rs 25,000-Crore Rights Issue

Telecom operator Bharti Airtel Ltd. has received market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India's approval to raise up to Rs 25,000 crore through rights issue, according to sources.

The board of the company had approved the rights issue proposal in February.

SEBI has given green signal to the rights issue of Airtel, the sources said.

When contacted, Bharti Airtel spokesperson said, "the company is in process of obtaining requisite approvals and shall make necessary announcements at an appropriate time".

The board had earlier approved the rights issue to raise up to Rs 25,000 crore through issuance of fully paid-up shares at a price of Rs 220 per share, and an additional Rs 7,000 crore via foreign currency perpetual bond issue.

The company had said the capital infusion will help it continue investments in future rollouts to build large network capacity and create content and technology partnerships to ensure the strong customer experience.

Last month, Airtel received commitment from its single-largest shareholder Singtel, promoters, and GIC Singapore to participate in the Rs 32,000-crore capital raising programme.

Singapore telecom major Singtel said it will infuse Rs 3,750 crore in Bharti Airtel by subscribing to the proposed Rs 25,000-crore rights issue of the company, while GIC Pvt. Ltd., on behalf of Singapore government and Monetary Authority of Singapore, has made a commitment of Rs 5,000 crore in the proposed programme.

Indian telecom players, including Airtel and Vodafone Idea Ltd., have outlined mega fundraising programmes to arm themselves with firepower to take on market competition intensified by Reliance Jio as well as pare debt.

Recently, the board of directors of India's largest telecom operator Vodafone Idea cleared the planned Rs 25,000-crore rights issue at a price of Rs 12.50 per equity share.

Bloomberg Quint

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