Global investors to pick up $1bn stake in Bharti Infratel

Written by Corporate Bureau | New Delhi, Dec 28 | Updated: Dec 29 2007, 05:46am hrs
Singapore governments investment arm Temasek Holdings and other leading global investors will pick up stakes worth $1 billion in Bharti Infratel, the wholly owned subsidiary of the Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Airtel.

With this investment, the current enterprise value of Bharti Infratel has been agreed in the range of $10 to 12.5 billion. However, the final valuation, within this range, will be determined on the basis of Bharti Infratels actual operating performance in FY09, a company statement said.

While Temasek Holdings will be the largest investor in the company, other international investors include the Investment Corporation of Dubai, Goldman Sachs, Macquarie, AIF Capital, Citigroup and India Equity Partners.

This placement highlights the confidence of leading global investors in the Indian telecom sector, which is now the fastest growing telecom market in the world and the Bharti group. It is also an endorsement of the governments visionary policy on sharing of passive infrastructure, Bharti said in a statement.

Bharti Infratel owns close to 20,000 sites and holds approximately 42% stake in Indus Towers, the recently announced joint venture between Bharti, Vodafone and Idea.

The JV, which has over 70,000 sites, will provide passive infrastructure services to all wireless telecom operators in India on a non-discriminatory basis.

Temasek already has a 4.99% stake in Bharti Airtel through one of its group company. It also holds 54% in SingTel, which has about 31% equity in Bharti Airtel. Earlier, the Singapores investment arm had also written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh voicing concerns on GSM operators on the additional spectrum allocation issue.