New Delhi: Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (Singtel) will acquire an additional 7.39 per cent stake in Bharti Telecom Ltd, the holding company of India’s largest telecom firm Bharti Airtel, for $659.5 million (over Rs 4,400 crore). In addition to this, Singtel will also buy Temasek’s 7.39 per cent stake in Bharti Telecom and another 21 per cent stake in Thai telecom firm Intouch Holdings PCL for a total consideration of 2.47 billion Singapore dollar ($1.8 billion).

Of this, it will pay Temasek Singapore Dollar 884 million ($ 659.51 million), for the stake in Bharti Telecom. Bharti Telecom holds 45.09 per cent in Mumbai-listed Bharti Airtel Ltd. The Mittal family has 51 per cent stake in Bharti Telecom, while Singtel held 39 per cent stake. Temasek held 7.39 per cent, which it is now transferring to Singtel as part of strategy to bring all telecom assets worldwide under the Singapore government entity.

In addition to this, Singtel will also buy Temasek’s 7.39 per cent stake in Bharti Telecom and another 21 per cent stake in Thai telecom firm Intouch Holdings PCL for a total consideration of 2.47 billion Singapore dollar ($1.8 billion).Of this, it will pay Temasek Singapore Dollar 884 million ($ 659.51 million), for the stake in Bharti Telecom. Bharti Telecom holds 45.09 per cent in Mumbai-listed Bharti Airtel Ltd. The Mittal family has 51 per cent stake in Bharti Telecom, while Singtel held 39 per cent stake.  

Singtel on Thursday entered into conditional share purchase agreements with Temasek to acquire 21 per cent of Intouch Holdings Public Company Ltd (Intouch) and 7.39 per cent of Bharti Telecom Ltd (Bharti Telecom) for a total consideration of Singapore Dollar 2.47 billion, Singtel said in a statement. The acquisitions will be settled fully in cash.

Singtel will pay Temasek Thai Baht 60.83 for each share of Intouch and Rs 235.62 for each share of Bharti Telecom. Bharti Airtel was trading 1.78 per cent higher at Rs 351.40 on BSE. The transaction is subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions precedent, including shareholder and relevant regulatory approvals, and is expected to be completed by December 2016, Singtel said.

However, Bharti declined to comment. This transaction will be funded through internal cash, short-term debt and proceeds from a share placement of 386 million new Singtel shares to Temasek totalling Singapore Dollar 1.605 billion at a price of Singapore Dollar 4.16 per new share. The acquisitions of the stakes in Intouch and Bharti Telecom, as well as the share placement are subject to minority shareholder and regulatory approvals.

The acquisitions and share placement are interdependent and have to close at the same time, the statement said. Intouch is the biggest shareholder in Thailand’s largest mobile operator Advanced Info Services Public Company Ltd (AIS).

Bharti Telecom is the holding company of Bharti Airtel Limited (Airtel), India’s largest telecommunications company which has operations in 18 countries across South Asia and Africa. AIS and Airtel have been associates of the Group since Singtel acquired stakes in these businesses in 1999 and 2000 respectively. Through these acquisitions, Singtel will increase its economic interests in AIS and Airtel, the statement said.

Source: PTI