Bharti Airtel today acquired a 1% stake in its subsidiary, telecom infrastructure major Indus Towers Ltd, after U.K.'s telecom major Vodafone group sold around 18% stake in the company. 

The U.K.-based Vodafone group sold around 48.4 crore shares in the Bharti Airtel arm for ₹15,300 crore. "Vodafone Group Plc ("Vodafone") announces that it has sold 484.7 million shares in Indus Towers Limited ("Indus"), representing 18.0% of Indus' share capital through an accelerated book-build offering ("Placing"). The Placing raised INR 153.0 billion (€1.7 billion) in gross proceeds," the U.K.-based telco says in a statement.

The funds raised via stake sale will be used to substantially repay Vodafone's existing lenders in relation to the outstanding bank borrowings of €1.8 billion secured against Vodafone's Indian assets, the company adds. Following the stake sale, Vodafone now holds 82.5 million shares in Indus, equivalent to a 3.1% shareholding.

The group had sold the stake in Indus in February and March 2022 as well. Before this, the group's holding in Indus Towers stood at 567.2 million shares.

Indus Tower shares opened a gap down today and hit the day's high at ₹369.85 on the BSE, taking the company's market cap to ₹89,391.06 crore. Bharti Airtel shares had a gap-up opening in the market and hit the day's high at ₹1,432.45 on the BSE, taking the company's m-cap to ₹8.04 lakh crore.

In an exchange filing today, Bharti Airtel says the ‘special committee of directors for evaluation of stake in subsidiaries and joint ventures’ today approved the acquisition of up to 27 million equity stake in Indus Towers. "Accordingly, with the aforesaid approval of the special committee, the company has acquired ~26.95 million (i.e. 1%) equity shares of Indus Towers today on-market," the company adds. 

Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Airtel currently holds 47.95% shareholding in Indus Towers. 

Indus Towers' January-March quarter profit surged 32% to ₹1,853.40 crore, while the full fiscal year's profit was recorded at ₹6,041.00 crore. The net revenue in Q4 FY24 came in at ₹7,193.20 crore, while the financial year revenue stood at ₹28,600 crore.

Net profit of Bharti Airtel slipped 31% YoY to ₹2,072 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2024, compared with ₹3,006 crore in the same quarter last year. For the full fiscal, profit fell 10.5% to ₹7,467 crore from ₹8,346 crore in FY23. Revenue from operations rose 4.4% year-on-year to ₹37,599 crore during the fourth quarter. The company's India business posted quarterly revenues of ₹28,513 crore, up 12.9% backed by strong performance across the portfolio.

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