India's telcos fight for cash

Bharti Airtel kicks off jumbo $3.5b rights issue

India’s leading telecom operator follows its rival to raise a huge pile of fresh capital in order to sustain a prolonged price war between the major telcos.

Bharti Airtel, India’s largest telecommunications firm by number of users, kicked off on Friday one of the country’s largest capital raises. It plans to raise Rp250 billion $3.58 billion from a rights issue to help it compete with aggressive rivals.

Through the Reg S deal, Bharti Airtel is looking to issue 1.13 billion rights shares on a 19-for-67 basis. The shares account for 28.3% of the firm’s existing share capital and 22% on a fully-diluted basis.

Exactly the same size as Vodafone Idea’s rights issue that was completed last week, Bharti Airtel’s cash call will set a record as the joint largest equity offering in local currency...

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