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Airtel prepays Rs 8,325 crore to DoT for 2015 spectrum acquisition

Bharti Airtel on Tuesday said it has prepaid Rs 8,325 crore to the Department of Telecom (DoT) towards partial prepayment of the deferred liabilities pertaining to spectrum acquired in the 2015 auction. In March 2015, Bharti Airtel won spectrum worth Rs 29,129.08 crore in the auctions but had paid Rs 11,374.7 crore. The upfront amount due was Rs 7,832.20 crore.

“Bharti Airtel has prepaid Rs 8,325 crores to the Department of Telecom (Government of India) towards part prepayment of the deferred liabilities pertaining to spectrum acquired in the auction of the year 2015, which were at an interest cost of 10 per cent,” the company said in a statement.

In November 2023, The Economic Times reported Airtel was exploring a fundraising of around Rs 8,330 crore to prepay a bulk of its remaining dues relating to the spectrum bought in 2015. The telco giant was expected to engage with top global banks such as Barclays and Citi to discuss the preferred mode of fundraising and pricing. According to senior bankers aware of the matter, the company had been inquiring about the most cost-effective way of raising funds and whether to go the bond route.

Bharti Airtel had reported a 37 per cent decline in net profit (attributable to owners) at Rs 1,341 crore for the quarter ending September 30, 2023, due to a one-time charge of Rs 1,570 crore. It reported a consolidated net profit of Rs 2,145 crore in the year-ago period.

The firm’s revenue rose 7 per cent to Rs 37,044 crore in Q2FY24 as against Rs 34,527 crore in Q2FY23. PTI

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