Aircel to rejig Rs 11k-cr loan

Written by Rachana Khanzode | Mumbai | Updated: Oct 14 2010, 10:24am hrs
Telecom service operator Aircel is rejigging its fund-raising plans in a bid to finance its 3G rollout. The operator would be taking an additional loan of about Rs 2,000 crore and will restructure its short-term loans worth Rs 11,000 crore ($2 billion), into a long term debt of about Rs 13,000 crore. This year, Aircel paid about Rs 6,500 crore for 3G spectrum licenses in 13 circles and about Rs 3,800 crore for broadband wireless access (BWA) spectrum licenses in 8 circles.

We had funded the 3G and BWA spectrum licenses through commercial papers, that are short term instruments, worth about Rs 11,000 crore ($ 2 billion), with a year's maturity. This was disbursed by Deutsche Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and HSBC Bank. The papers would mature by mid next year, a senior official from the company told FE. We are, therefore, looking at restructuring our debt, he added. This loan would be substituted through a long term debt from a consortium of banks led by SBI. We are working towards it and the long term debt should be around Rs 13,000 crore, this official said.

Another official from the company said, The restructuring would be in the form of debt and equity and Maxis could also then come in. However, we are still planning it. Aircel is a joint venture between Maxis Communications of Malaysia and Indias Apollo Hospital Enterprise, in which Maxis holds a majority 74% stake. Last year, Maxis had said it is investing $10 billion in Aircel to accelerate its expansion in network coverage for 2G services.