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Mittals approach multiple foreign banks to bankroll partial Singtel buyout

The Mittals have approached multiple foreign investment banks to raise around $2 billion through offshore credit lines to buy some part of Singapore Telecommunication’s (Singtel) share in Bharti Airtel.

The family is considering all options for offshore credit such as structured financing, bonds, and even bridge loans. Banks that have been sounded out include Standard Chartered, JPMorgan, Citibank, BNP Paribas, and the Bank of America, sources told the publication.

Sources added that while final terms, quantum and transaction details are yet undecided, the funds will “soon” be used to buy some of Singtel’s stake in the Indian telecom company. Singtel has held stake in Airtel since 2000.

The Mittal family owns 50.56 percent and Singtel 49.44 percent of Bharti Telecom, which in turn owns 35.85 percent of Bharti Airtel. Besides this, Singtel also owns 14 percent directly in Bharti Airtel while the Mittals own 6.04 percent – taking their effective stockholding to 31.72 and 24.13 percent respectively.

Singtel has reportedly been in talks with Sunil Mittal, chairman of Bharti Airtel, to sell a part of its holding in India’s second largest telco for some time now. Sources told the paper that it is looking to book some profit and reinvest in new opportunities.

Last week the Singapore-based company had responded to speculation by stating that Bharti Airtel “remains a core investment” in its international portfolio.

Standard Chartered, JPMorgan, Citibank, BNP Paribas, Bank of America, Bharti Group and Bharti Airtel did not respond to queries, the report added. Moneycontrol

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