Qatar Foundation Endowment (QFE) on Wednesday announced the offloading of its entire 5% stake in Bharti Airtel, a deal which saw the global investor exiting India’s largest telecom operator with a gain of more than 41%. The organisation through its Asia-Pacific regional holding company, Three Pillars, offloaded its 5% stake in Bharti through a block deal priced at Rs 481 per share, which was at a discount of 6.4% to the closing price as on November 7, 2017, it said. In May 2013, Three Pillar had invested Rs 6,800 crore in the operator, acquiring almost 20 crore shares at a price of Rs 340 per share. The foundation earned a little over Rs 9,600 crore from the deal, which is an upside of more than 41%.
Following the stake sale, Three Pillar’s representative on Bharti’s board of directors will immediately step down. Commenting on the transaction, QFE’s chief executive officer Rashid Al-Naimi said, “We are delighted to have partnered with Bharti Airtel through an important stage of their growth. Bharti Airtel has successfully maintained its market-leading position, and its positive momentum has led to our investment performing well. QFE Group will reinvest the proceeds globally, as we continue to grow and diversify our portfolio”.
UBS acted as the sole book runner to this transaction. QFE is a long-term global investor with a mandate to make direct and managed investments across a range of asset classes and industries. Its objective is to provide a permanent funding base for the operations of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (Qatar Foundation), a not-for-profit organisation.