Bharti Airtel: Disciplined Deleveraging
Bharti Airtel Ltd (BHARTI IN) (Bharti) is in talks with Warburg Pincus to sell a 15% stake in Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) BV (BAIN), a holding company of Bharti’s operations in 14 African countries, for USD1.5bn, according to Economics Times. The proposed transaction value the African business of up to USD10bn.
Management indicated the sale proceeds would be used to reduce Bharti’s debt and to stay competitive as the low tariff pricing continues. The stake sale is expected to be completed by December, followed by a listing of BAIN in the overseas market in 2019, both of which will help to reduce the debt level further. Bharti’s management also plans to raise a USD1bn loan to refinance existing and higher-cost loans to free up cash for capex. Bharti’s management expects capex at INR240bn for FY19.