Bharti Airtel is reportedly exploring a fundraise of around $1 billion (approximately Rs 83.3 billion) to prepay a significant portion of its remaining dues relating to the spectrum bought in 2015. This fundraise could also include a potential bonds issue. According to industry sources, the telco is expected to engage with top global banks such as Barclays and Citi to discuss the preferred mode of fundraising and pricing.
Airtel needs to clear Rs 120 billion of deferred liabilities pertaining to the spectrum purchase in 2015. The company has been inquiring about the most cost-effective way of raising funds and whether to go the bond route. The refinancing would help the operator to save on annual interest costs, fortify its balance sheet and boost cash flows as it continues to expand its 5G coverage.
Further, Airtel might also consider the option to access a part of its remaining rights issue proceeds to prepay some of the 2015 spectrum auction dues. The telco had raised Rs 52.47 billion in the first tranche of the Rs 210 billion rights issue in 2021.