There are media reports that Singtel, has initiated talks with Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal to sell a small part of its holding in the Indian telco to the Mittal family. The Singapore company could sell stake worth $1-2 billion to the Indian promoter through a mix of Bharti Telecom and Bharti Airtel share sales.
The market capitalisation of Bharti Airtel stands at Rs 3.78 lakh crore.
Singtel has been a shareholder in Bharti Airtel since 2000. The Mittal family and Singtel own 50.56% and 49.44%, respectively, in Bharti Telecom, which in turn holds a 35.85% stake in Bharti Airtel. In addition, Singtel and the Mittal family through investment companies directly hold 14% and 6.04% in the telco. The effective shareholding of the Mittal family in Bharti Airtel is 24.13% while that of Singtel is 31.72%.
A similar news item had been emphatically dismissed as market speculation in May 2021 by Bharti Airtel chief executive Gopal Vittal too. “I have heard about such (market) rumours this morning, but I wish to emphatically deny them and clarify that neither the Bharti family nor Singtel have any intention what-so-ever to sell their stakes in Airtel,” Vittal said.