Cabinet approves FPO for sale of ITI Limited’s 180 million shares (India)

The cabinet has cleared the sale of ITI Limited’s 180 million equity shares th­rough a follow on public offer (FPO). The move will help the company meet the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s mandate to maintain a minimum 25 per cent public shareholding for all listed com­panies, the deadline for which is August 2018 for public sector undertakings. Currently, the government holds 92.59 per cent stake in the company. Be­sides, the FPO will help ITI in raising working capital for new projects and reducing its debt obligations.

RIL merges Jio Music with Saavn in a cash-and-stock deal

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has signed an agreement to merge its digital music service, JioMusic, with the Saavn music app in a cash-and-stock deal. RIL will pay $104 million in cash to acquire a partial stake in Saavn from existing shareholders including Tiger Global Mana­ge­ment, Liberty Media and Bertelsmann. As per RIL, JioMusic’s implied valuation in the merged entity will be $670 million. In addition to its cash-and-stock investment, RIL will invest the rupee equivalent of up to $100 million for growth and expansion of the merged platform. Of this, the rupee equivalent of $20 million will be invested upfront.

Bharti Airtel receives board approval to raise Rs 165 billion through debt securities

Bharti Airtel has received approval from its board to raise up to Rs 165 billion through the issuance of non-convertible debentures of up to Rs 100 billion on a private placement basis and the issuance of foreign currency bonds up to a limit of $1 billion (Rs 64.82 billion) or equivalent in one or more tranches. Funds raised through these debt securities will be used for routine treasury activities, including refinancing of existing debt and spectrum liabilities. Airtel will now approach shareholders for their approval for the proposed fundraising. Over the past one year, Airtel has raised funds worth Rs 120.89 billion through multiple small stake dilutions in its listed tower arm, Bharti Infratel.

Dish TV India concludes merger with Videocon d2h

The merger of direct-to-home (DTH) players Dish TV India and Videocon d2h has concluded. The merger, which was approved by the boards of both the companies in November 2016, has received requisite approvals from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the Na­tio­­nal Company Law Tribunal and the Competition Commission of India. The merger will create the largest DTH service provider in the country, with a combined subscriber base of about 28 million.

RJIL raises $500 million through Samurai loans from Japanese banks

Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (RJIL) has raised $500 million through a syndicated Samurai loan from three Japanese banks.  These are Bank of Tokyo Mitsu­bishi UFJ, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Cor­­poration and Mizuho Bank. The floa­ting rate loan is for a period of seven years. With this move, RJIL seeks to diversify its borrowing base. Earlier, Reliance Indus­tries Limited’s board had approved raising Rs 200 billion through debt in tranches.

Finland government acquires 3.3 per cent stake in Nokia (Finland)

Solidium, the investment arm of the Fin­land government, has acquired a 3.3 per cent stake in Nokia to strengthen Finnish ownership in the telecom network equipment manufacturer. The shares were acquired from the market in the beginning of 2018 for about $1.04 billion. Solidium has stated that Nokia’s strong market position and broad technological expertise are the key factors that led the government to increase its stake.

Oi’s board of directors approves debt-for-equity swap deal (Brazil)

The board of directors of Brazilian operator Oi has approved the terms of a debt-for-equity swap. The board has approved the issuance of up to 1,756 million new shares, corresponding to a maximum am­ount of $3.8 billion. Under the terms of the agreement, unsecured bondholders will be able to participate in the capitalisation of Oi by swapping a portion of their debt for shares in the company.

Telecom regulator approves NPTH’s plan to buy out MTC (Namibia)

The Communications Regulatory Autho­­rity of Namibia has given its approval to state-owned Namibia Post and Tele­communications Holdings (NPTH) to increase its ownership in Mobile Tele­communications (MTC) to 100 per cent. Currently, NPTH holds 60 per cent stake in MTC, while the remaining is held by Luxembourg-based company Samba Luxco. The approval, however, is subject to certain conditions, including the transfer of 20 per cent stake to the Govern­ment Insti­tutions Pensions Fund and the sale of 29 per cent of Mobile Tele­communications’ shares to private as well as local investors on the Namibian Stock Exchange.