Bharti Telecom seeks Rs 4,900 cr IDF assent; infusion to make a foreign signature of Airtel

New Delhi, December 8 () Bharti Telecom, a promoter of Bharti Airtel, has requested government approval for the infusion of Rs 4.9 billion rupees from Singapore and Singapore-based foreign entities, a measure that would make the operator The country's oldest private telecommunications company is a foreign entity.

The infusion of the fund will improve foreign participation in Bharti Telecom to more than 50 percent, which will make it a foreign-owned entity, said an official source aware of the development. Sunil Bharti Mittal and his family currently hold a 52 percent stake in Bharti Telecom.

Bharti Telecom has a stake of around 41 percent in Bharti Airtel, while foreign promoters have a 21.46 percent stake in the telecommunications company. Public shareholders have about 37 percent stake in the company.

Bharti Telecom has requested the infusion of Rs 4.9 billion rupees in the company, which includes investments from Singtel and some other foreign investors. With this, Bharti Telecom will become a foreign entity since the majority participation will be in the hands of foreign investors. DoT is expected to approve this investment this month, the source said.

The Telecommunications Department had rejected Bharti Airtel's FDI request earlier this year as the company had not provided clarity about the foreign investor.

The total foreign participation is 43% in Bharti Airtel, at present. With the promoter firm Bharti Telecom becoming a foreign entity, foreign participation in the company will cross 84 percent, the source said.

Bharti Airtel has already been in talks with Singtel and other entities for the infusion of funds.

In August, the company had informed the stock exchanges that Bharti Telecom to withdraw part of the debt could seek capital from its existing promoter group, which could include foreign entities and Singtel in proportion to their participation.

Bharti Airtel has said that even a marginal increase in foreign capital would raise foreign investment in Bharti Telecom above 50 percent, making it a foreign-owned entity.

Bharti Airtel has already requested to increase the FDI limit to 100 percent in the company.

The board of Bharti Airtel last week approved a proposal to raise USD 3 billion through QIP, sale of shares and debt documents, since the company owes the government AGR quotas of Rs 43,000 million. The company will launch one or more QIP or offer for the sale of capital shares or a combination of similar offers to raise USD 2 billion. The rest of USD 1 billion will be collected through bonds and obligations. PRS MR

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