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Airtel’s Board To Meet On February 28 To Discuss Panel Recommendations For Fund-Raising

Bharti Airtel’s board is going to meet on February 28, 2019, to discuss the recommendations of a special panel which had been set up to explore fund-raising options. The operator would use the funds to pare its debt and free up cash for 4G expansion.

As per an exchange filing dated December 20, 2018, the company’s board had formed and authorized a special committee of directors who would comprehensively explore the various fundraising options to strengthen the company’s capital structure and balance sheet.

Airtel has been raising funds by progressively reducing its stake in Bharti Infratel in order to pare its debt and compete with Reliance Jio. The operator has already raised over Rs 120 billion through multiple stake dilutions.

Prior to this, Airtel Africa had raised Rs 92 billion by concluding a placement of shares to six global investors, including Warburg Pincus, Temasek, Singtel and SoftBank Group among others.

Recently, Airtel also raised USD 200 million from Qatar Investment Authority in order to pare its debt.

Now, the operator is planning to raise an additional USD 1.25- 1.5 billion through Airtel Africa’s initial public offer (IPO) around May-June next year.—

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