Bharti Airtel raises €750 million in euro bond sale

Indian operator Bharti Airtel has completed a €750 million bond sale to raise euro-denominated debt, according to sources close to the deal.

The bonds were offered via a Bharti subsidiary in the Netherlands, and have a five year term. It follows a trend of larger Indian companies using global operations to raise funds in international debt markets.

Bharti is reportedly preparing to invest in a round of Indian spectrum auctions, and is also seeking to find opportunities to take part in the country’s increasing consolidation.

A consortium of six banks prepared the deal, including Barclays, Standard Chartered, JP Morgan, UBS, BNP and Deutsche Bank.

This is the third time Bharti has raised foreign debt this year, and it follows its decision to sell a 5% equity stake operated by the government of Qatar for $1.3 billion in May. Its latest debt raising initiatives is part of a company-wide refinancing program that it put into effect following its acquisition of Zain telecom in 2010.

Analysts speaking to the Financial Times also said the debt raising was part of a plan to improve its balance sheet for upcoming spectrum renewals and spectrum auctions. The Indian government has also announced plans to liberalise the telecoms economy further to aid mergers.

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