According to an exchange filing, Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel) has decided to sell a 3.33 per cent stake in Bharti Airtel to Bharti Telecom Limited (BTL), the promoter company of Airtel, for approximately $1.61 billion. To this end, Singtel revealed that its units – Pastel Limited and Viridian Limited – would together sell 198 million shares they hold in Airtel.

Post the execution, Singtel’s effective holding in Airtel will drop to 29.7 per cent (from around 31.72 per cent and be worth around S$22 billion ($15.8 billion). Its reduced holding in Airtel will comprise a 19.2 per cent indirect stake through BTL and a 10.5 per cent direct stake.

The filing further noted that the acquisition would be completed over 90 days. Meanwhile, BTL and Singtel have agreed to work towards equalising their stakes in Airtel over a period of time. Also, the two entities have decided to make some directional shifts in their respective holdings in Airtel. The latest deal comes at a time when Singtel is looking to trim down its portfolio to sharpen its focus on core businesses. At present, the Airtel and Singtel own 50.56 per cent and 49.44 per cent, respectively, in BTL that holds 35.85 per cent in Airtel. In addition, Singtel and the Airtel directly hold 14 per cent and 6.04 per cent, respectively, in the telco through investment firms. This share will now change post-conclusion of the latest deal.