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Singtel associate Airtel to issue US$1b of bonds, 144b rupees in shares

AS part of its mega fundraising exercise, Bharti Airtel will issue US$1 billion of 1.5 per cent foreign-currency convertible bonds due 2025.

The Indian associate telco of Singtel will also place out some 323.6 million shares at an issue price of 445 rupees apiece, raising some 144 billion rupees (S$2.74 billion) under a qualified institutional placement (QIP).

Singtel said in a bourse filing on Wednesday that Airtel’s special committee of directors, set up for this debt-equity capital raising, had approved both the QIP and the bond issuance on Tuesday.

Last week, Airtel had proposed to raise up to US$3 billion in the exercise, ahead of its deadline to pay a hefty fine to the Indian government.

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The new bonds can be converted into fully paid-up equity shares at a conversion price of 534 rupees per share, which is at a premium of 20 per cent on the QIP issue price.

The bonds are proposed to be listed on the Singapore Exchange.

Shares of Singtel fell two Singapore cents or 0.6 per cent to close at S$3.25 on Tuesday.