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Bharti Airtel's debt at extraordinary level, needs access to growth capital: Sunil Mittal

The founder and chairman of Bharti Enterprises noted that the leverage was bothering investors and the company. He also remarked that 5G will become a reality in the second half of next year and that 'Bharti Airtel' bets on 5G.

August 30, 2021 / 03:59 PM IST
Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal

Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal


A day after telecom major Bharti Airtel announced that its Board of Directors has approved to raise capital up to Rs 21,000 crore via a rights issue, Sunil Bharti Mittal, while addressing the media, said the company's debt is at an 'extraordinary' level and that he believes "there is an opportunity to accelerate growth.  We needed access to growth capital."

The founder and chairman of Bharti Enterprises also stated that no rights issue funds will be used to raise a stake in Indus towers. He added that the leverage was bothering investors and the company.

Mittal believes that Airtel will take a special place amongst Indian corporates and said that he has never felt more confident about this. Thus it 'would be a grave error if we stayed with business at usual at this time', Mittal said.

Further, Mittal remarked that 5G will become a reality in the second half of next year and that 'Bharti Airtel' bets on 5G. He hopes that the pricing of the spectrum be made equally attractive by the government for 5G as 5G devices' price points are coming down.

The chairman of the telco also estimated the ARPU (average revenue per user) to trend towards Rs 200 in this financial year and said it was time to raise tariffs. Airtel's ARPU rose Rs 146 from Rs 145 in the March quarter. The current ARPU, as stated in Q1 results, is Rs 146. He also clarified that there were no plans to sell more promoter stakes as that would be 'inappropriate'.

On August 29, Bharti Aitel said that its Board of Directors has approved raising capital up to Rs 21,000 crore by issuing equity shares of the face value of Rs 5 each of the company. The firm said that the board approved the right issue price to be set at Rs 535 per fully paid-up equity share, including a premium of Rs 530 per equity share.

"25% on application and balance in two more additional calls as may be decided by the Board/ Committee of the Board from time to time based on the Company’s requirements within an overall time-horizon of 36 months," the firm said in a regulatory filing.

Among other details, the telco said that in the rights issue, one equity share will be offered for every 14 equity shares held by eligible shareholders as on the record date.
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